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Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif disqualified by Supreme Court in Panama Papers case

The Supreme Court also referred all corruption charges against Nawaz Sharif and his three children, including heir apparent Maryam Nawaz, to an accountability court.

world Updated: Jul 28, 2017 22:53 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over long-running corruption allegations.
Pakistan's Supreme Court has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over long-running corruption allegations.(AFP File Photo)

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after an investigative panel concluded his family’s assets exceeded their income, effectively ousting him from office and barring him from electoral politics for five years.

In a unanimous decision by a five-judge bench, the Supreme Court also referred all corruption charges against Sharif and his three children, including heir apparent Maryam Nawaz, to an accountability or anti-graft court.

The verdict is expected to exacerbate the political uncertainty prevailing in Pakistan since the Panama Papers leaks revealed the Sharif family had allegedly used offshore companies to acquire foreign assets worth millions of dollars, including expensive flats in a posh London neighbourhood.

The Supreme Court also disqualified finance minister Ishaq Dar, a top leader of the ruling PML-N who is related to Sharif by marriage, and Captain Mohammad Safdar, the husband of Maryam Nawaz, from their seats in Parliament.

The verdict was announced shortly after noon on Friday. Soon after, there was uproar in the court complex as supporters of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party started shouting slogans against Sharif.

Earlier, Sharif had said he would accept the Supreme Court’s decision.

Sharif, serving his third term as premier, has not been able to complete any of his terms. He was earlier sacked by the president for alleged corruption and was ousted in a 1999 military coup by Pervez Musharraf.

Read| Nawaz Sharif under fire: Is Pakistan’s history of regime change repeating itself?