Supreme Court Rejects Call To Disqualify Pakistan PM
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday, ruled that there was insufficient evidence to order the removal of Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, from office over corruption allegations leveled by the opposition.
A verdict to dismiss Sharif would have left his party in power but would have brought turmoil at a time when Pakistan is experiencing modest growth and improved security, and the civilian government and powerful military have appeared to come to uneasy terms.
According to Reuters, two of five judges on the court bench recommended Sharif should step down, saying he was dishonest “to the nation as well as to the parliament”, but they were out voted.
Presenting its 549-page judgment amid tight security in the capital Islamabad, the court however, ordered a joint investigation team be formed to look into allegations around three of Sharif’s four children using offshore companies to buy properties in London.
The team has two months to complete its inquiry, after which a special bench will decide what action to take. The court said this in a ruling that opened with the epigraph from Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”: “Behind every great fortune there is a crime”.
The Prime Minister and his children had denied any wrongdoing and have expressed openness towards the court’s latest ruling.
“We are ready for all kinds of investigation,” Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told reporters outside the court.