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Nawaz Sharif steps down as Pakistan PM after court disqualifies him over Panama Papers leak case

Nawaz Sharif is facing a probe into his family's wealth after it was revealed that the Prime Minister's children owned offshore companies with undisclosed incomes.

BT Online   New Delhi     Last Updated: July 28, 2017  | 15:17 IST
Panama Paper leak case: Supreme Court calls Nawaz Sharif 'dishonest', disqualifies him from holding office

In an ongoing investigation in Panama Paper leak case, Pakistan Supreme Court today disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding his office and accused him of being dishonest to parliament.
 
Announcing the verdict, the judges ruled that Nawaz Sharif had been dishonest to parliament and the courts and could not be deemed fit for his office, the Dawn reported. This is the third time Sharif's tenure as the Prime Minister has been cut short. Back in 1999, Sharif was removed from the power through a military coup.

Nawaz Sharif is facing a probe into his family's wealth after it was revealed that the Prime Minister's children owned offshore companies with undisclosed incomes. The information was leaked in April 2016 which is also known as Panama Paper leaks. The investigation began last year when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after opposition threatened protests following the Panama Paper leak.

The Apex Court said the Election Commission of Pakistan should de-seat the Prime Minister for not disclosing his role in the Dubai-based Capital FZE company in his nomination papers. The paper also revealed that Nawaz Sharif's  family had bought posh apartments in London through offshore companies.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan announced that the larger bench had unanimously deemed PM Sharif unfit for holding office and would also order an accountability court to open references against him and his family, the Dawn reported.

"He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister," Judge Ejaz Afzal Khan said in court. Nawaz Sharif's loyalists believe that there was a conspiracy to unseat him. Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq had earlier tweeted that "This is not accountability, it is revenge. In an effort dislodge us, the democratic system has been made a target."

It is not clear yet that who will replace Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Earlier in April, the Apex Court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to remove Sharif from office - but it ordered an investigation into the case. The probe findings could not match Sharif's family assets with their earnings.

 

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