Ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif accuses ISI of meddling in 2018 parliamentary polls

The deposed Pakistani leader has for the first time named a senior ISI officer, General Faiz Hamid, for being allegedly involved in pre-poll rigging ahead of the 2018 general elections. 

Ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif accuses ISI of meddling in 2018 parliamentary polls

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has accused the country's powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of meddling in the ongoing parliamentary polls there.

The deposed Pakistani leader has for the first time named a senior ISI officer, General Faiz Hamid, for being allegedly involved in pre-poll rigging ahead of the 2018 general elections. 

General Hamid is the head of the Counter Intelligence wing in the ISI.

Sharif has also said the military's intelligence wing, the ISI, is intimidating his party's candidates to switch loyalties or to run as independents. 

''His (Faiz Hamid) team is also involved in forcing our candidates to opt for the symbol of 'jeep' and run as independent candidates,'' Sharif added.

His team has also been forcing our candidates to leave PML-N, the former Pakistan PM alleged.

Sharif said that some elements of the military are trying to deny his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) a second term in office.

Responding to Sharif's accusation, Army spokesman Major Gen. Asif Ghafoor said, "We don`t have a political party. We don't have a loyalty."

The embattled PML-N leader has also criticised the election commission's decision to deploy soldiers inside polling stations, saying his party would oppose the efforts being made to "engineer" the outcome of the July 25 general elections.

"I don't understand the logic of sending (the troops) inside the polling booths," he said.

The 68-year-old three-time prime minister said, "The nation will not accept these things; the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz won't accept these things at any cost."

Sharif, who was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case, is now the supremo of the PML-N. 

Sharif's relations with the powerful military has deteriorated since his ouster. 

The military, which enjoys considerable influence over policy decisions in Pakistan, has ruled the country for much of its life since it gained independence.

He alleged that a campaign against the PML-N was on. 

Speaking to journalists in the British capital where his wife Kulsoom is undergoing treatment for throat cancer, Sharif said that he and his daughter Maryam would return to Pakistan on Friday after being sentenced in a corruption case last week.

The PML-N supremo had earlier said that he would surrender to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on his return to the country on Friday following the Avenfield verdict.

Last Friday, in a landmark verdict, the accountability court hearing the Avenfield case sentenced Sharif to 10-years imprisonment and Maryam to seven years. 

The Avenfield case was among the three corruption cases filed against the former premier and his children by the NAB on the Supreme Court's orders in the Panama Papers case. 

(With PTI inputs)

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