Pakistan police file sedition charges against former PM Nawaz Sharif News
© WikiMedia (Ahsan Nadeem)
Pakistan police file sedition charges against former PM Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani police in Lahore filed sedition charges Monday against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and 44 other leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party.

Sharif was prime minister for three terms, and his last term ran from 2013 to 2017. In 2017 he was removed by the Supreme Court because of corruption and owning assets “disproportionate to his known sources of income.” He was convicted on corruption charges in 2018 and is currently serving a jail term.

The sedition charges on Monday were brought for comments that Sharif made that criticized military interference in national politics. In mid-September, opposition parties held a conference at which participants called for the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and for a nationwide protest movement. At the conference, Sharif stated that the army had gone from  a “state within a state” to a “state above the state.” He claimed that the military had rigged the election that brought Khan to power. The military denied interfering in the election. 

The sedition charges alleged that Sharif was “openly inciting the public to commit treaso” in his speeches. He allegedly sought to isolate Pakistan and have it declared a “rogue state.” Sharif is currently in London for medical treatment, although government official Musarrat Cheema has stated that they will ensure a court trial against the accused.