Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz to be next Pakistan PM? Top 10 developments

The 2016 Panama Papers leak showed that Sharif and his family had allegedly indulged in money laundering to buy expensive assets in London in the 90s through offshore companies.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 28, 2017 7:41 pm
FILE PHOTO: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a joint news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stepped down after he got an unfavourable verdict from the country’s top court in the Panama Papers scandal. The Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified him from holding public office and said it would order an accountability court to open references against him and his family. Meanwhile, as per reports in the Express Tribune, speculation within the media indicates that the ruling PML(N) is planning to bring in an interim prime minister for a few weeks before electing Nawaz’s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif to the post. 

 The 2016 Panama Papers leak showed that Sharif and his family had allegedly indulged in money laundering to buy expensive assets in London in the 90s through offshore companies. The investigation was carried out by multiple news organisations, including the Indian Express, after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shared files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The records had been obtained from an anonymous source by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Also Read: Timeline of events leading up to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s ouster

So what happened today?

1. The top court has disqualified Sharif from holding public office, bringing his term to an unceremonious end less than a year away from the country’s general elections in 2018. This is the third time that Sharif has fallen short of completing a five-year term. In fact, no civilian prime minister of Pakistan has had a complete five-year term.

2. Among the five-judge bench, two judges were earlier in favour of Sharif’s disqualification. Today, the ruling was unanimous with all judges asking him to step down. They ruled that he had been dishonest to Parliament and the courts.

3. The court has ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-notify Sharif from his National Assembly seat, Dawn reported. The PM had reportedly not mentioned his role in a Dubai-based company in his nomination papers.

4. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar, who is a Member of the National Assembly (MNA), also stood disqualified from office, the court ruled.

5. The court ordered the National Accountability Court to begin a corruption case against Sharif and his family. The cases should be registered in six weeks and the trial should be completed in six months, the court said.

6. In May, the Supreme Court had appointed a Joint Investigation Team to investigate the charges against Sharif and his family. The JIT submitted its report on July 10.

7. The Supreme Court took up the case on November 3 last year and held 35 hearings spanning over more than 132 hours before concluding the proceedings on February 23.

8. Today, the court, which announced its verdict post 12 noon, was filled to capacity as politicians, lawyers and journalists crowded to hear what it had to say. The court premises were also put on high security alert.

9. Both Islamabad and Rawalpindi were put on high alert as personnel in riot gear roamed the streets so as to avert any possible disturbances. Opposition leaders were expected to hit the streets to celebrate the judgement.

10. “It’s a historic day, let’s strengthen Pakistan, let’s get rid of terrorism from the country. Let us take this moment to express gratitude to the armed forces, police and other law enforcement agencies. We should also thank the JIT members for not succumbing to the enormous pressure and serving the cause of justice,” said PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

11. As per reports in the Express Tribune, speculation within the media indicates that the ruling PML(N) is planning to bring in an interim prime minister for a few weeks before electing Nawaz’s younger brother Shehbaz Sharif to the post. 

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  1. D
    Dhawan
    Jul 28, 2017 at 10:11 pm
    The politics of Pakistan is very simple. Most of the Pakistanis are Punjabis who are more often dark and short very color oriented . The Nawaz Sharif family and his confidants are mostly Kashmiri and they are more often tall and also light thus they dominate the majority Punjabis. In fact the wife of Nawaz Sharif is a lso a Kashmiri the g daughter of the great wrestler Gama.
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    1. J
      JK
      Jul 29, 2017 at 3:26 pm
      Lol dude get your facts straight. Punjabis are the same across border: fair and (fairly) tall. Its Punjabis you are talking about, not Bengalis or Muhajirs who are reputed to be short and dark. Infact Sharif family is SHORT. Please get your facts straight before posting such assumptions.
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    2. B
      Bandra
      Jul 28, 2017 at 8:39 pm
      Its like Pots calling Kettles black . Most south Asian politicians are corrupt some to the core. There is no doubt that the army played a behind the scene role to make it all look legal. Otherwise why would the major political parties congratulate the army in Pakistan.
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      1. R
        Raj Parwani
        Jul 28, 2017 at 8:23 pm
        India needs to learn from Pakistan, how strong their judiciary has become, they stood against a military dictator (Musharaf) causing him to leave power and now the same judiciary stood strong against all threats and disqualified civilian prime minister, Judiciary is one of the pillars of democracy, the country is emerging with strong democratic values. On the other hand India is becoming Hindutva, getting into hands of Sanghis who think it's ok to lynch a Muslim and Dalit just because they eat beef. I always said India has quan y but Pakistan has quality. What happened to Panama leaks related to powerful Indians? nothing. India might be the biggest democracy but has weakest democratic traditions, again quan y but no quality. Pakistan has Aryan blood and India has Drivadian Banya blood, that's the real difference.
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        1. T
          tarun
          Jul 28, 2017 at 8:30 pm
          Raj>Get your head tested first.
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          1. R
            Rahul Singh
            Jul 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm
            Raj is a Jew thus pushing tiny Pakistan and helping his beloved China. Many Jews are using Indian pseudo-names.
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            1. H
              Huzaifa
              Jul 29, 2017 at 2:02 am
              Happy to see a Indian guy appreciating the efforts of Pakistan compared to others who are just getting jealous... let's hope best for India as well and i wish India and the rest of the world get the guts to stand up against corruption and corrupt politics. i Really do appreciate your words and opinion.
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            2. K
              Kader Ansari
              Jul 28, 2017 at 8:21 pm
              What Mr. Nawaz Sharif will do now?
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              1. S
                Sudheendra Rao
                Jul 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm
                Until the Administration comes out from the clutches of Army, Pakistan's fate will not change.
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