July 28, 2017

Nawaz Sharif resigns after Pakistan Supreme Court disqualifies him

by Neha Monga

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned hours after Pakistan SC disqualified him from the office after an investigative panel concluded his family’s assets exceeded their income.

The Supreme Court said Sharif is not fit to hold office and ordered a criminal investigation into him and his family. The court also disqualified Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, one of Sharif’s closest allies

“He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister,” Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said.

The Supreme Court has also ordered the National Accountability Court to start a corruption case against Sharif, his sons – Hussain and Hassan – and his daughter Maryam, Sharif’s presumptive legal heir.

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Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Sharif’s ruling party which has a majority in the parliament, is expected to name a new prime minister to hold office until elections due next year. Sharif’s nephew Hamza or planning minister, Ahsan Iqbal, are seen as potential candidates who could immediately take up his position

This was Sharif’s third term as prime minister which has been cut short.

No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term with their tenures cut short by the military, the judiciary or they were ousted by their own party, forced to resign — or assassinated.

The Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in a swipe at Sharif, tweeted, “Godfather’s Rule has ended for good! Truth & Justice have prevailed!”

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The Panama Papers scandal is about the alleged funds used by the Sharif family to purchase several high-end London properties via offshore companies.

His party has insisted that the funds were acquired legally and echoed the prime minister’s previous declarations of a conspiracy against him.

 

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