Sharif’s disqualification as PM ‘uncontroversial’: Pak SC

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court today said the disqualification of prime minister Nawaz Sharif was “uncontroversial” as it issued a detailed verdict rejecting review petitions filed by the Sharif family in the Panama Papers case.

Sharif, 67, had to step down after he was disqualified as the prime minister by the apex court on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal. He had sought review of the verdict.

The apex court had issued a short-order on September 15 rejecting the review petitions of the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar against the July 28 verdict.

In its detailed 23-page verdict, the apex court observed that no error has been identified in the Panama case, which could be reviewed and the accountability court is free to make a decision on the basis of nature of evidence.

“The facts about disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister were uncontroversial,” the court observed in its verdict, maintaining that it could not be said the decision surprised Sharif.

In scathing observation, the court also asserted that Sharif fooled the masses in and outside of parliament as well as the apex court.

The judgment also observed that Sharif’s daughter Maryam was prima facie beneficial owner of London flats and it cannot be said that her spouse Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar has no connection with that property.

The court rejected Sharif’s objection to the appointment of a monitoring judge to oversee the trial of corruption cases in the accountability court or fixation of six month period for conclusion of the trial.

The court said the directions to finish the trial in six months are not meant for influencing the trial court, but for early completion of the trial.

Three cases were registered by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Sharif, his children and son-in-law in the court on September 8.If convicted, Sharif can be jailed.

Commenting on the court’s verdict, Sharif’s daughter and PML-N leader Maryam said the law and justice are embarrassed.

The political future of Sharif, who leads the country’s most powerful political family and the ruling PML-N party, has been hanging in balance since the July 28 verdict.Sharif’s family alleges that the cases are politically motivated.

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