Pakistan’s Supreme Court concluded Panama Papers case against Nawaz Sharif family

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif looks on during a joint news conference with Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, following their meeting in Ankara,Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Sharif, in Turkey on an official visit, will have meetings with the Turkish leadership. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Vastavam web: Pakistan’s Supreme Court today concluded hearing the high-profile Panama Papers case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family for alleged corruption, but reserved its verdict that could jeopardise his political future.The three-member bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan did not immediately give any date to give its judgement.The apex court also opened the final part of the 10- Volume report submitted by the Joint Investigation Team it had set up to probe the allegations of money laundering by Sharif.

The JIT has recommended that the report’s Volume-X should be treated as confidential as it contains the details of correspondence with other countries. Exercising their right to respond to the arguments by defence lawyers, the petitioners in their brief remarks urged the court to disqualify Sharif and order a trial against him for allegedly hiding assets and failing to disclose the sources of income used to set up businesses by his children.”The prime minister has failed to give satisfactory answer to the allegation of money laundering and should be disqualified,” argued the lawyer of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, one of the petitioners against Sharif.

But the judges hearing the case have made observations that Sharif and his children have been unable to satisfy the court about the sources of money used to buy these properties. The Supreme Court decision in the case is keenly awaited as it would determine the course of Pakistan’s polity and with it Sharif’s. An adverse decision may result in Sharif’s disqualification and even snap elections.