Nawaz Sharif disqualified: What was Panama Papers Case against him and how the verdict can affect India

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New Delhi | Updated: July 28, 2017 1:02:28 PM

Nawaz Sharif Panam Papers case verdict: The Supreme Court of Pakistan will announce its verdict in the Panama Papers case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today.

nawaz sharif, nawaz sharif panama papers case, nawaz sharif panama papers case verdict, what is panama papers case, how it will affect india, pakistan news, pakistan supreme court,Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (AP file photo)

Nawaz Sharif Panam Papers case verdict: The Supreme Court of Pakistan today announced its verdict in the Panama Papers case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, declaring him guilty. The top court also disqualified him from the post of PM.  The legal proceedings against Sharif had captivated the nuclear-armed country, where politicians are rarely subjected to the kind of scrutiny undergone by Sharif. However, the possibility of Sharif’s third term in power being cut short has also raised concerns about Pakistan’s fragile democracy as no prime minister has completed a full term in power since independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

What is the Panama Papers case against Nawaz Sharif?

The Panama Papers case against Sharif (67) is related to alleged money laundering by the Pakistan PM in 1990s, when he twice served as prime minister, to purchase assets in London. The assets allegedly purchased by Sharif surfaced when Panama Papers leak last year by a consortium of international journalists, including The Indian Express, revealed the assets allegedly purchased by Sharif were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif’s children.

The assets include four expensive flats in London.

What Supreme Court of Pakistan said in final verdict

The judgement was unanimous. The SC disqualified Sharif from holding his office. According to Dawn, the judges ruled that Sharif was “dishonest to Parliament and the courts and could not be deemed fit for his office.”

Pakistan Supreme Court justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said the bench has recommended to send all materials collected by JIT to an accountability court within six weeks. Moreover, cases would now be opened against Captain Muhammad Safdar, Maryam, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz as well as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Dawn reported, adding a final judgement should be announced within 30 days.

How the case progressed

Pakistan Supreme Court had taken up the case in October last year on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami Muslim League, and Jamaat-e-Islami and reserved the verdict in February after conducting hearings on a daily basis.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan set up a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the charges against Sharif and his family in May this year. The JIT submitted its report to the court on July 10.

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According to PTI, the six-member JIT was set up with a mandate to probe the Sharif family for allegedly failing to provide the trail of money used to buy properties in London in the 1990s.

The JIT report said lifestyle of Sharif and his children were beyond their known sources of income and recommended the filing of a new corruption case against them. Sharif had, however, dismissed the report as a “bundle of baseless allegations” and refused to quit, even as demand for this increased from several quarters, including opposition political parties.

On July 21, the SC reserved its verdict after concluding the hearing.

How the verdict will affect Sharif

Sharif, who has been Pakistan prime minister for a record three time, has been disqualified and found guilty of corruption and money laundering. The verdict was keenly awaited as both of Sharif’s first two stints ended in the third year of his tenure.

Sharif is a steel tycoon-cum-politician. He had served as Pakistan’s prime minister for the first time from 1990 to 1993. His second term from 1997 was ended in 1999 by Army chief Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup.

How the verdict will affect India

Sharif leads Pakistan’s most powerful political family and the ruling PML-N party. His ouster may again trigger a political uncertainty in troubled Pakistan and may even open a chance for Pakistan’s notorious army to capture the power once again. All such developments would be keenly watched by India as relations between both countries have deteriorated a lot in the last one year because of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

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