SC judgment highlights 'serious contradictions' by Sharif family on London flats

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

"The Supreme Court's verdict is an interim judgment - the judges have sought more investigations (within the next two months or so) to be conducted by a specially constituted committee into the trail of money used in buying flats owned by Nawaz Sharif's family".

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should be anxious after the Pakistan Supreme Court's majority verdict on Thursday.

The apex court has ordered the JIT to present its report every two weeks before a Supreme Court bench.

"Justice Khosa asserted that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been unsuccessful in playing their role effectively".

The five-judge bench comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan issued the landmark judgement 57 days after concluding the hearing.

Government supporters could be seen celebrating the judgement with candies outside the court in Islamabad, where around 1,500 police commandos and riot forces had been deployed ahead of the highly anticipated decision.

"Whether the court convicts him or not today it spells trouble and the prime minister will be weakened", said Herald newspaper editor Badar Alam.

Sharif could be dismissed as prime minister.

He said if Sharif is not ready to step down permanently, he should step aside for 60 days when JIT would probe the money laundering allegations, as ordered by the court. However, the bench remarked that prime minister had not been disqualified. At least the prime minister's children admitted that they own property overseas. However, Khwaja Asif, a PML-N leader told that "it was a pre-planned order of Sharif, which he himself decided". Sharif says he established a steel mill overseas while he was exiled to Saudi Arabia by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999. "We will fully co-operate with the joint investigation team". Sharif's sons, Hussain and Hasan, and his daughter, Maryam, are accused of being linked to offshore companies that owned properties in London. "There is no clean chit for the prime minister, but for the time being he has been saved from being disqualified".

The news outlet added that the decision was supported by three court justices, while the two others heading the case voted against.

"I think it is evident now to the nation that Nawaz's real face is not sharif", Zardari said. PTI chief Imran Khan termed the decision "historic" and asked Sharif to resign until the completion of the investigation. The JIT must report its progress to the court on a weekly basis.

Other reports by VgToday

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