Panama Papers: Pak PM Nawaz resigns after Apex court disqualifies him

Islamabad: Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif resigned from his post after the country’s Apex court disqualified him and ruled that graft cases be filed against the leader and his children over the Panama Papers scandal.

It is the third time the 67-year-old veteran politician’s term as premier has been cut short. As of now, it is unclear that who will be the country’s Prime Minister till the general elections take place which are scheduled in 2018.

As the unanimous verdict by the five-judge bench was read out by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan inside the packed courtroom 1 of the Supreme Court, a large number of opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers celebrated outside.

PTI is lead by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan.

The court disqualified Sharif under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution. The articles state that a member of Parliament should be “truthful” and “righteous”.

“He is disqualified as a member of the parliament so he has ceased to be holding the office of Prime Minister,” Justice Khan said. The court ordered the Election Commission to issue a notification for Sharif’s disqualification.

Following the court verdict, state-run PTV reported that Sharif had quit. It also reported that the government has accepted the verdict despite having serious reservations over it.

The Supreme Court also ordered the National Accountability Court to start a corruption case against Sharif, his children — Hussain and Hassan — and his daughter Maryam.

The Supreme Court ordered that the cases against them be registered within six weeks and trial be completed within six months.

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

It is pertinent to mention that the Prime Minister of Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the youngest serving Prime Minister of Iceland had to resign on April 5, 2016 after the Panama papers leak.

Over 500 Indians figure on the firm’s list of offshore companies, foundations and trusts.

There are also 234 Indian passports (handed over by clients as part of the incorporation process), an eight-month-long investigation of over 36,000 files by The Indian Express had reported in 2016.

The big names among the 500 included Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachan, Former Miss World and Bollywood actress Ashiwarya Rai. She is also the daughter-in-law of Bachan.

Other big names included Corporate honcho Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, Sameer Gehlaut, owner of India Bulls, K P Singh, Promoter of DLF.

Two politicians who figure on the list are Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal and Anurag Kejriwal, the former chief of the Delhi unit of Loksatta Party.

The leak even included gangsters including the late Iqbal Mirchi.

As of now, no action has been taken against any of the Indians named in the list.

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