Islamabad, Apr 20: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday narrowly survived from getting disqualified after three judges involved in the verdict ordered to set up a Joint Investigation Team within a week to probe the money laundering allegations against his family. The Supreme Court has asked the JIT to submit its report in the next 60 days.

The Supreme Court’s 3-2 split verdict allowed Sharif to continue as the Prime Minister of the country. However, the court in its verdict ordered Hasan and Hussain, the two sons of Nawaz Sharif to appear before the JIT as well as the officials belonging to the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Military Intelligence and National Accountability Bureau.

Nawaz Sharif Panama Papers case

  • The case is about the alleged money laundering by Sharif to purchase assets in London in 1990’s when he served twice as the prime minister of Pakistan.
  • The controversy erupted last year when the Panama papers report stated that Sharif’s assets were managed by his children via offshore companies.
  • The Panama papers released last year revealed 11.5 million secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The Panama papers documented the offshore dealings of many rich and powerful personalities of the world.
  • A case was filed in the Supreme Court after several petitions were filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan. In his petition, the cricketer-turned-politician alleged illegal assets of Sharif’s family in London.
  • The case was registered on November 3 and proceedings were concluded on February  23 after 35 hearings.
  • Imran Khan, in his petition, had appealed the court to disqualify PM Sharif under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution over the allegations of corruption on the PM’s family. In his petition, Khan had alleged that Sharif was “no more honest and truthful” as required by the Constitution.
  • However, the 3-2 split decision of the Supreme Court judges helped Sharif to continue his tenure as the Prime Minister of the country.
  • If the court, in its judgement, had disqualified Sharif, his party Pakistan Muslim League would remain in power but would have created a turmoil in the country’s politics.
  • The judgement in the case was issued by the five-judge bench comprising of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan 57 days after concluding the hearing.
  • Reacting on Supreme Court’s judgement, Sharif’s daughter Maryam tweeted, “Praise & glory be to Allah alone. Shukrana & mubariks.”
  • The decision of Supreme Court was hailed as victory of justice by Sharif’s supporters.

  • PTI chief Imran Khan demanded Sharif’s resignation saying he has lost all moral authority. He said, “A great Supreme Court judgement which has completely rejected Nawaz Sharif’s entire story. The Prime Minister should resign immediately as he has lost all moral authority. I want to congratulate the nation on this Supreme Court judgement, especially PTI workers who stood steadfast with me throughout. Celebrate your success today.”