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Panama Papers verdict highlights: After Nawaz Sharif’s ouster, speculations over his successor begins

Pakistan Supreme Court on Friday disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers scandal, plunging the country into a political crisis at a time when it is facing brittle economy and surge in militancy.

world Updated: Jul 28, 2017 20:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
1/7

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s third term in office comes to an unceremonious end following a verdict by a five-member bench of the country’s Supreme Court into his family’s assets and projected incomes. The court’s verdict also barred him from electoral politics for at least five years. Sharif was a year away from completing his first full term in power - a feat so far unprecedented in Pakistan’s political history. (Caren Firouz / REUTERS File)

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers scandal after an investigative panel concluded his family’s assets exceeded their income, effectively ousting him from office and barring him from electoral politics for at least 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.

Below are the live updates:

4:45: Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf calls it a historic day for Pakistan on the Panama Paper verdict. “I am in complete support with this verdict,” he said to a local news channel.

4:15: Hoping that the SC judgement will have effect on many others, Imran stated that he can now see several ‘looters’ behind bars.

4:07: Imran Khan, chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaaf also the petitioner in the case thanks the judiciary for bringing back faith in justice. The entire nation is celebrating, this is the time we need to move forward like other nations.

4:00: PML-N party members meeting after the Panama verdict.

2:30pm: Ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) members say Sharif’s days are not over. This is a difficult time for the PML-N. But the power to make party decisions will remain with Nawaz Sharif”, the Dawn quoted Punjab province Law Minister Rana Sanaullah as saying.

2:10pm: In a brief statement, Sharif’s office said Sharif relinquished his charge as prime minister after learning that the Supreme Court disqualified him because of corruption allegations.

2:00pm: Sharif resigns as PM after Supreme Court order to disqualify him

1:56pm: Other names doing the rounds for the post of PM are current Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and defence minister Khawaja Asif.

1:55pm: Pakistani media reports say businessman Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is also PML-N lawmaker, is among those tipped to replace Sharif as PM.

1:45pm: The Supreme Court’s unceremonious end to Sharif’s tenure represents a record third time he has been ousted as leader before completing his term.

Supporters of ousted Pakistani Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif shout slogans against opposition leader Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, after a Supreme Court verdict that ousted Sharif in Islamabad on July 28, 2017. Pakistan's Supreme Court on July 28 disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from public office over long-running corruption allegations, a decision that ousts him from the premiership for the third time in a chequered political career. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI (AFP)

1:28pm: Announcing the verdict, judge Ejaz Afzal Khan said, “He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister.”

1:24pm: SC has directed the National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s main anti-corruption watchdog, to file a case against Sharif and his children in an anti-corruption court within 6 weeks and that the trial should be completed in 6 months

1:23pm: Pakistani media reports SC has disqualified Nawaz Sharif from electoral politics for life

1:15pm: 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.

First Published: Jul 28, 2017 13:18 IST