Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif resigns over Panama Papers verdict
Published On : 2017-07-28 07:18:09
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Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country's Supreme Court to disqualify him from office.
The ruling came after a probe into his family's wealth in the wake of the leaked 2016 Panama Papers, which linked Mr Sharif's children to offshore firms.
Mr Sharif has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the case.
The five judges reached a unanimous verdict in the Islamabad court, which was filled to capacity.
"Following the verdict, Nawaz Sharif has resigned from his responsibilities as prime minister," a spokesman for Mr Sharif's office said in a statement.
There was heightened security in the capital, with tens of thousands of troops and police deployed.
One of the judges, Ejaz Afzal Khan, said that Mr Sharif was no longer "eligible to be an honest member of the parliament".
Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan earlier advised Mr Sharif to accept Friday's verdict.
The court has recommended anti-corruption cases against several individuals, including Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others.

Opening the gates of power?
By M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad 
Pakistan has repeated history. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is resigning. He was the 18th prime minister of Pakistan. Not a single one of the 17 prime ministers that preceded him have completed their full term in office.
Many believe that the Supreme Court has started a process of cracking down on corruption, which augurs well for democracy. Others see this as part of a long history of political manipulation through which the country's powerful military establishment has sought to control civilian decision-making.
The case hearings - spread over nearly 15 months - have been marred by controversy. The case belongs in a criminal court. The Supreme Court, which is an appellate body, initially refused to hear it. But then it not only admitted the petition for hearing, it also took the unusual step of instituting its own investigation into the case, with a dominant role for military intelligence services.
Many believe that while across-the-board action against corruption may remain a pipe dream, this verdict will open the gates of power for a new set of politicians - as has often happened in the past. 

Mr Sharif, who was serving as prime minister for a record third time, was less than a year away from becoming the first in Pakistani history to complete a full term in office.
He served as prime minister from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 until he was toppled in a bloodless coup in October 1999.
 

 

 
 
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