Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to tender his resignation before presenting himself before a judicial inquiry commission formed by Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe how the Sharif family’s money was transferred to Qatar.

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Talking to the media outside Supreme Court on Thursday, the PTI chief congratulated his party workers and the people of Pakistan on the SC ruling which Khan hailed as a ‘landmark verdict’.

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Khan said Nawaz Sharif has lost the moral authority to stay in office.

“I demand Nawaz Sharif resign…until the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) completes its probe,” Khan said.

“If you’re cleared within 60 days, you can return,” Khan said.

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The PTI chairman congratulated the nation on the “historic” ruling. “This has never happened in the history of Pakistan.”

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued an order for the formation of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Sharif family’s involvement in corruption as stated in the Panama leaks.

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A five-judge bench, comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, had examined arguments presented by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), the Watan Party and the All Pakistan Muslim League, who framed the case out of court as a campaign against corruption.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa announced the final verdict in the case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family at Courtroom 1 at the apex court.

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“All five judges have decided that whatever Nawaz Sharif said, it has been rejected. The money trail, the sources of income – everything is in front of the nation… In other words, it has been declared a falsehood.”

The final verdict is split 3-2 among the bench, with two dissenting notes in the judgement by Justice Khosa and Justice Gulzar. Two judges ruled against PM Nawaz Sharif, whereas the other three were in favour of forming a JIT.

“The two most senior judges said to disqualify the PM,” Imran Khan said.

“However, they [the PML-N] are giving out sweets over the fact that two judges have said he is dishonest.”

“Five judges have dismissed their defence – is this what you are celebrating?” Khan asked the ruling party.

Justice Khosa asserted that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been unsuccessful in playing their role effectively.

The JIT will include officials from NAB, FIA, State Bank of Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, the bench said, and will be led by a director-general level FIA officer.

The names of members of the JIT must be announced within seven days, and a probe report must be released within 60 days. The JIT must report its progress to the court on a weekly basis.