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Supreme Court Rejects Call To Disqualify Pakistan PM

Supreme Court Rejects Call To Disqualify Pakistan PM

Pakistan's supreme court has given a verdict that there is less evidence against the prime minister. It will present its report before the bench after every two weeks and will complete its investigation in 60 days.

The JIT is to include officials 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.

"It is a setback for him, at least for the next two months or so - though this may change quickly if the investigation committee set up by the court finds the Pakistan prime minister and his family guilty of money laundering", Alam explains.

The court decision on Thursday will be the outcome of petitions from opposition lawmakers dating back to documents leaked in 2016 from a Panama-based law firm that indicated Sharif's sons owned several offshore companies.

Justice Ejaz, Justice Azmat and Justice Ahsan wrote the majority judgment, whereas Justice Gulzar and Justice Khosa in their dissenting note branded Sharif "dishonest" and wanted to remove the Prime Minister as sought by the petitioners.

However, it was pointed out in the judgment that Sharif's sons had maintained that their investment with Al-Thani family of Qatar was the source of funds for Hassan Nawaz Sharif's business. "Are they celebrating that two senior judges called for the prime minister's disqualification?"

The decision is important for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) and Sharif because he might project it as a clean chit by the apex court. This simply means the Prime Minister will be on the mercy of the ISI and the Pakistan Army. However, Khwaja Asif, a PML-N leader told that "it was a pre-planned order of Sharif, which he himself decided".

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Sharif's critics have suggested that offshore companies were used to launder illegally obtained wealth or avoid taxes, and opposition politicians threatened to launch street protests if the allegations were not investigated. Sharif says he established a steel mill overseas while he was exiled to Saudi Arabia by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999.

He expressed doubts that junior officers working under Sharif can not deliver justice as part of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) when the highest court failed to deliver justice.

"With today's decision, not only democracy but also justice itself have been damaged".

"We believe that if Pakistan is not safe in the hands of Nawaz Sharif, it is also not safe in the hands of Imran Khan", the former president, whose own party is gunning for a victory in the next election, said.

"I think it is evident now to the nation that Nawaz's real face is not sharif", Zardari said.

The news outlet added that the decision was supported by three court justices, while the two others heading the case voted against.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.


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