Islamabad: Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday stepped up his attack on Supreme Court Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, accusing him of imposing the "worst kind of dictatorship" in the country.
Sharif, 68, who returned from London on Sunday after seeing his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz, told reporters inside the accountability court here that suo motu actions of the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) against the against federal and provincial governments were nothing less than a "judicial martial law".
Earlier this month, the apex court, in a landmark judgement, declared him ineligible to hold public office for life, ending the political future of the three-time premier ahead of this year's general elections.
Sharif was disqualified to hold the office of the prime minister by the Supreme Court on July 28, 2017 in the Panama Papers case. He was disqualified for not being "honest and righteous" as he failed to declare in 2013 a salary he got from the company of his son in the UAE.
In February, the apex court also disqualified Sharif as the head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). What is prevalent in the country is not democracy, but the worst kind of dictatorship under Saqib Nisar, he said.
Sharif's reaction came in response to a series of recent suo motu actions taken by the CJP against federal and provincial governments and his frequent visits to hospitals as part of the apex court's 2018 agenda, focusing on human rights issues, particularly relating to the right to quality education and healthcare.
The CJP's actions, however, was being seen as an overstepping of boundaries by the apex court, but Justice Nisar stood by the court's actions, saying such criticism would not deter him from exercising what he considers is his "constitutional right".
"What is happening in the country is not less than a 'judicial martial law'," said the former prime minister, adding that the chief justice visited hospitals and set prices of vegetables, but he should also visit those oppressed people whose cases have not been decided for the past 20 years.
It is not your job to summon the chief ministers and make the government stand in the line, he said attacking the chief justice. Sharif also attacked the top judge saying he should say and do as he pleased, but he was not allowed to put restrictions on free speech.
The former premier also slammed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan for supporting the Pakistan Peoples' Party in the elections to Senate, held in early last month.