Big Breaking!!! Pakistani Supreme Court asks PM Nawaz Sharif to step down; Huge embarrassment for Pakistan after Panama scandal verdict

Pakistan Supreme today announced a verdict which has shaken the ruling party of Pakistan. Yes, the Supreme Court held Nawaz Sharif guilty in the Panama Gate. It has asked Mr Sharif to step down from his post and has decided to file a criminal case against him. Still one year was remaining for the next election but this has created turmoil in Pakistan politics

The leak of 11 million documents held by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca identified links between many political and business leaders around the world and offshore companies and accounts. Among them was the Pakistani prime minister’s family.

The leaks in April 2016 revealed that three of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children owned offshore companies and assets not shown on his family’s wealth statement.

But as expected, Nawaz Sharif and his family had denied of any wrongdoing. They also said that the London property was bought through investments in companies owned by the Qatari ruling family. Nawaz Sharif also said that his political opponents are targeting him.

The Panama Papers leaks came at a time when Mr Sharif’s government was still recovering from the 2014 siege of Islamabad by opposition politician Imran Khan which kept the federal capital paralysed for four months. Mr Khan and smaller groups had demanded his resignation and threatened another lockdown of Islamabad. They filed petitions at the Supreme Court for the prime minister to be disqualified.

After initially rejecting the petitions on the grounds that they were based more on hearsay than facts, the Supreme Court constituted a five-member bench in October 2016 to start hearings in the case.

Allegations of corruption have chased Mr Sharif since the 1980s. And much of what the Panama Papers have revealed now was the subject of a federal inquiry in the mid-1990s.

Source and credits: Republic TV and http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36092356

Nishika Ram