Pakistan top court rejects call to oust PM

Pakistan top court rejects call to oust PM

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

Pakistan's supreme court has given a verdict that there is less evidence against the prime minister.

"After the investigation report comes in, the court will resume proceedings and will arrive at a decision in the light of that report".

The other agencies in the JIT include the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

A five-judge bench, comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, delivered the landmark judgement after examining arguments presented in the case.

The case against Sharif emerged a year ago after the Panama Papers leak linked his children to offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands in relation to the purchase of upmarket property in London.

The court acted on 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.

About 500 security personnel were deployed in advance of Thursday's decision, with access to the Pakistan Supreme Court sealed except for those with special passes.

Almeida said the prime minister's main vulnerability was the continuing electricity crisis, which he had been unable to solve.

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"The verdict is historic because a sitting prime minister has never been investigated before", he said, adding the verdict to form a JIT proves all arguments by Sharif were lies.

The JIT will continue investigation on how funds were transferred to Qatar, thus the tension will remain for Sharif and his family till investigation is over. Because two senior judges said you [PM Nawaz Sharif] should be disqualified?

The prime minister and his children deny any wrongdoing. However, Khwaja Asif, a PML-N leader told that "it was a pre-planned order of Sharif, which he himself decided".

As the court made its much-awaited verdict, protesters requesting Sharif to step down gathered in front of the building as well as Sharif's supporters did.

"The decision to probe corruption of Nawaz Sharif and his children means that whatever explanation he had given in the SC regarding the source of income and the money trail has been rejected", said Khan. However, the judgment pointed out that she had stated in her response to the Supreme Court that her brother Hussain Nawaz Sharif was the owner of the four London flats since 2006 while she was a trustee of those properties for the same brother.

Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was previously ousted in a military coup in 1999.

Khan termed the verdict as indictment of Sharif as the bench did not absolve him of the allegations.

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. The JIT must report its progress to the court on a weekly basis.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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