ISLAMABAD – Supreme Court of Pakistan in a benchmark decision in a high-profile Panama case on Friday ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to issue a disqualification notification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
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A five-member bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for being dishonest to the nation, in a landmark decision on Panamagate case.
The 5-o verdict was announced by a five-judge bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa – the same judge who had commenced his dissenting note in the April 20 judgment with a quote from Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather and declared Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ‘disqualified’ for not being honest to the nation.
The court has also disqualified Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain (r) Safdar from the office.
Panama Papers & Sharif family
The historical verdict follows an investigation into Sharif family’s wealth after the 2016 Panama Papers dump linked the PM’s children to offshore companies.
The prime minister – who himself is not named in the Panama Papers – denies all allegations and insists they are politically motivated. There were also questions over the make-up of the SC-sanctioned Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that helped the court in probing the case.
Sharif’s four children – Maryam, his presumptive political heir, and his sons Hasan and Hussein – were implicated in the papers.
At the heart of the case was the legitimacy of the funds used by the Sharif family to purchase several high-end London properties via offshore companies.
The PML-N insists the wealth was acquired legally, through Sharif family businesses in Pakistan and the Gulf.
The top court had in April declared there was “insufficient evidence” to oust Sharif over the graft allegations engulfing his family, and ordered an investigation team to probe the matter.
The team of civilian and military investigators found there was a “significant disparity” between the Sharif family’s income and lifestyle in its report submitted to the court earlier this month.
The Sharifs and their allies have consistently and noisily rejected the claims, with his ruling PML-N party this month dismissing the investigation team’s report as “trash”.