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Panama Papers Verdict highlights: Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz to be next Prime Minister of Pakistan

The political future of Pakistan's embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be decided on Friday by the Supreme Court when it will announce its much-awaited verdict in the Panamagate case in which he and his family are accused of corruption.

FP Staff July 28, 2017 21:01:18 IST
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Panama Papers Verdict highlights: Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz to be next Prime Minister of Pakistan

Highlights

19:18 (ist)

PML-N says Nawaz Sharif's ouster was not based on Panama Papers

Geo News reported that PML-N lawmakers expressed reservations over the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and said that his removal was not on the basis of Panama Papers.

The PML-N leadership also said that it is likely that a review petition will be filed. "This decision is not acceptable and we will file a review petition in court," said Saad Rafique.

18:54 (ist)

No interim prime minister announced yet

According to Geo News, a name has not been announced for the interim prime minister, who will fill the 45 day vacuum until Shehbaz Sharif is elected to a National Assembly seat.

As Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly, he would have to contest elections and there were reports that Khawaja Asif could be made interim prime minister.

13:37 (ist)

Powerful generals of Pakistan army behind Sharif's disqualification?

Friday's ruling is most likely to shift Pakistan's political balance. Sharif's disqualification order came a year before his term was to end. The New York Times report said, "The verdict means the governing political party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, must choose an interim prime minister to replace Sharif until the next general election, which is scheduled for mid-2018."

Several reports and experts have said that Pakistan military, "which has traditionally decided the fate of civilian governments", could have been responsible for the judgment.

13:21 (ist)

'Historic decision':  PTI general secretary Jahangir Tareen

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf general secretary Jahangir Tareen called the Supreme Court's decision 'a historic decision'. Geo News reported that speaking outside the Supreme Court, Tareen said : "A new chapter of history has been written today and decision came through the efforts of Imran Khan, PTI workers and supporters," he said and added, "Pakistanis had lost hope for justice but Imran Khan was the lone person who did not lose hope."

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

July 28, 2017 - 20:59 (IST)

The United States looks forward to smooth political transition in Pakistan

"We look forward to a smooth transition as Pakistan's parliament selects the next prime minister,” a State Department official said when asked about the developments in the Panama Papers case. The official, however, described Sharif's resignation as Pakistan's internal matter. Sharif's resignation comes at a time when Pakistan's relations with the US is under strain after the Trump administration blocked $350 million coalition support funds the country for failing to act against the dreaded Haqqani terror network.

Read more here

July 28, 2017 - 20:52 (IST)

Attempts to create a political crisis are being made, says Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman

“We thought there would be a pile of evidence but when the verdict came, the PM was disqualified over the basis of money he did not withdraw,” said Jamiat Ulema Islam-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman said in a press conference. According to Geo TV, the leader said that development projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could also be undermined by the political turmoil.

July 28, 2017 - 20:27 (IST)

Forget corruption optics, Nawaz Sharif paid price for challenging army's authority

In one stroke of the pen, Pakistan Supreme Court has sent the country hurtling down the path to political instability. The import of Friday's event will redefine parliamentary democracy in Pakistan for years to come. Five learned judges in a unanimous decision have removed an elected prime minister from the post even though he has not been convicted of any crime. This is as close to 'legal' coup d'état as possible.

Full analysis here

July 28, 2017 - 20:19 (IST)

Full text of Pakistan Supreme Court's order in the Panama Papers case

July 28, 2017 - 19:18 (IST)

PML-N says Nawaz Sharif's ouster was not based on Panama Papers

Geo News reported that PML-N lawmakers expressed reservations over the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and said that his removal was not on the basis of Panama Papers.

The PML-N leadership also said that it is likely that a review petition will be filed. "This decision is not acceptable and we will file a review petition in court," said Saad Rafique.

July 28, 2017 - 19:12 (IST)

Nawaz Sharif disqualified from National Assembly

Following the directives of the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued a notification disqualifying Nawaz Sharif as a member of the National Assembly.


"The Election Commission of Pakistan hereby de-notify Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as Member National Assembly on Pakistan from Constituency No.NA-120 Lahore-III with immediate effect," reads the ECP notification released by Dawn.

July 28, 2017 - 19:06 (IST)

Former Iceland PM Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson too resigned because of the Panama Papers

Iceland's prime minister was forced to resign in April, 2016 after documents appeared to reveal that he and his wife concealed millions of dollars' worth of investments in an offshore company.

July 28, 2017 - 19:02 (IST)

Edward Snowden tweets about the development in Pakistan

July 28, 2017 - 18:59 (IST)

Who will succeed Shehbaz as Chief Minister of Punjab?

According to Geo News, Hamaz Shehbaz Sharif or Rana Sanaullah are likely to succeed Shehbaz as the Chief Minister of Punjab.

July 28, 2017 - 18:54 (IST)

No interim prime minister announced yet

According to Geo News, a name has not been announced for the interim prime minister, who will fill the 45 day vacuum until Shehbaz Sharif is elected to a National Assembly seat.

As Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly, he would have to contest elections and there were reports that Khawaja Asif could be made interim prime minister.

Islamabad: The political future of Pakistan's embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be decided on Friday by the Supreme Court when it will announce its much-awaited verdict in the Panamagate case in which he and his family are accused of corruption.

The scandal is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in 1990s, when he twice served as prime minister, to purchase assets in London. The assets surfaced when Panama Papers leak last year revealed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif's children. The assets include four expensive flats in London.

Sharif, who has been the prime minister of Pakistan for a record three time, faces the risk of being disqualified if the court finds him guilty of corruption and money laundering.

Panama Papers Verdict highlights Nawaz Sharifs brother Shehbaz to be next Prime Minister of Pakistan

Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif. AFP

He leads Pakistan's most powerful political family and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.

The verdict will be announced tomorrow at 11.30 am (local time), according to a supplementary cause list issued this evening.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said that he would resign and quit politics after the Supreme Court judgement on the Panamagate case.

His announcement, which comes a day before the verdict in the high-profile case, stunned his supporters and the ruling PML-N party.

Khan expressed serious disappointment over the way he was kept away from Sharif by his rivals.

The verdict is being awaited as both of Sharif's first two stints have ended in the third year of his tenure.

A steel tycoon-cum-politician, Sharif had served as the 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.

In May, the Supreme Court set up a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the charges against the 67-year-old Sharif and his family. The JIT submitted its report to the court on 10 July.

It said the lifestyle of Sharif and his children were beyond their known sources of income, and recommended filing of a new corruption case against them.

Sharif dismissed the report as a "bundle of baseless allegations" and refused to quit, despite demands to do so from several quarters, including opposition political parties.

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

Its decision to issue the verdict on Friday came as a surprise to many as it earlier announced the cause list for two weeks which had not scheduled the Panamagate case.

In the wake of the verdict tomorrow, Islamabad police have announced special security arrangements and closed the capital's central "Red Zone" area, which has importan buildings including the Supreme Court, for the general public.

The entry to the court tomorrow will be restricted to only those having special passes.

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 top court took 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.

Updated Date:

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