Panama Pakers: Nawaz Sharif steps down as PM after SC's disqualification verdict

Never wished to gain power with army’s help Imran

Panama Pakers: Nawaz Sharif steps down as PM after SC's disqualification verdict

In an ongoing investigation in Panama Paper leak case, Pakistan Supreme Court today disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding his office and accused him of being dishonest to parliament.

The court has recommended that anti-corruption cases should be registered against several individuals including Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Mohammad Safdar, Sharif's sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz as well as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

In 2016, Iceland's prime minister, Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson, stepped down amid public outrage that his family had sheltered money offshore.

This is the third time the prime minister has been unable to complete his term in the chief executive's office.

Opposition MPs, who petitioned the court for disqualification of Mr Sharif, welcomed the court decision, saying it was a victory for justice.

With Sharif's tenure coming to an unceremonious end, all eyes are on his ruling PML-N party, which has a majority in the Parliament. Nawaz Sharif's loyalists believe that there was a conspiracy to unseat him.

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"The day the Supreme Court announces its verdict, I will resign and will never fight any election (after that)", Nisar said, adding he was addressing an "extremely difficult" press conference of his life.

Nawaz Sharif's brother, Shahbaz Sharif, who is also the Chief Minister of Punjab is also a major player in the race for the Prime Ministerial seat considering his prominence and that he might get Nawaz's recommendation.

The court had set up a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.

The move could bring forward the country's election, which was not due until early 2018. "Historically there have always been two kinds of laws prevailing in the country; one for the weak and poor and the other for the rich and powerful", said the former cricketer-turned-politician.

Many believe that the Supreme Court has started a process of cracking down on corruption, which augurs well for democracy.

The scandal broke after the disclosure of the Panama Papers, which revealed Sharif's children had accounts in the British Virgin Islands, through which they owned properties in London.

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