Islamabad, Mar 27 (PTI) Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif said today that the state institutions should operate within their limits, in an apparent reference to the judiciary and the powerful military establishment.

“Had we respected the sanctity of vote for 70 years, Pakistan would have been in the top 10 countries of the world,” Sharif was quoted as saying by the Geo TV.

The powerful army, which enjoys considerable influence over policy decisions in Pakistan, has ruled the country for much of its life since it gained independence 70 years ago.

The former prime minister also called for an end to all laws made under martial law regimes.

Sharif was speaking at the Punjab House where he held a meeting with party leaders and allies, including Pakhtuhkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai.

He said he may not have been an ideological person before but now he is 100 per cent ideological.

Earlier, Sharif said he is looking at things like the recent interview of Pakistan’s chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar and a newspaper article detailing the army chief’s ‘doctrine’.

Talking to reporters inside the accountability court hearing a corruption case against him and his family, Sharif said former army chief Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf lies about his return to Pakistan.

“He would show his fists and say ‘Nawaz and Benazir would never come back to Pakistan’,” he said about the former army chief who recently postponed his return to the country to face trial on security grounds.

“I’m here with my daughter facing the courts,” he said, adding that people should understand the difference between people like Musharraf and politicians.

Sharif claimed that everyone knows he is not the one to take signals’, adding that he has paid a price for democracy and is paying it now too.

“The public’s thumbs and not the umpire’s finger will deliver votes,” the three-time prime minister said, referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s umpire reference during the anti-government protest in 2014.

Sharif said the reason for the attacks against him is his standing with the Constitution.

He also regretted becoming part of the 2012 Memogate case against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government and the then Pakistan envoy to the US Husain Haqqani.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.