Islamabad: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that the references against him by the country's anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), are "byproducts" of him filing a high treason case against former President Pervez Musharraf.
The NAB had registered three cases of corruption and money laundering against Sharif and his family members in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Panama Papers case in 2017.
The apex court had disqualified Sharif from holding office on July 28.
The PML-N leader said that the references as well as the 2014 sit-ins against his government were reciprocal punishment for him taking legal action against Musharraf despite being warned not to do so, Geo News reported.
"The purpose of the cases was to get me out of the Prime Minister House and stop the treason case against Musharraf."
Sharif claimed that the head of an intelligence agency had told him to "resign or go on a long leave", adding that such threats by a subordinate to the head of government are not issued even in Third World countries.
Speaking about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek's 2014 sit-in against his government, Sharif said: "The purpose of the 2014 sit-in was to pressurise me."
He hinted that PTI and PAT were both in on the "conspiracy" against him. "Before the filing of the treason case I had met Imran Khan and he never demanded my resignation. But surprisingly after Musharraf was booked, he met Tahirul Qadri in London where they decided to stage a sit-in against my government."
The three-time prime minister also said that former President Asif Ali Zardari conveyed a message to him to endorse Musharraf's second martial law. "But I refused to endorse it," Sharif said.
"It is not easy to bring a dictator to justice and no law can place a dictator in handcuffs," he said.
The PML-N leader said it was a "prerequisite for the sanctity of the armed forces that if any person suspends the Constitution then he should be held accountable".
"Only a few people in the armed forces staged a coup but the entire institution has to pay the cost," he added.