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Panama Papers Case: Pakistan SC to Decide Nawaz Sharif's Fate Today


Updated: April 20, 2017, 10:57 AM IST
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Panama Papers Case: Pakistan SC to Decide Nawaz Sharif's Fate Today
File photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court in Pakistan will on Thursday deliver its verdict in the high-profile Panama Papers case involving the country’s Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif and his family. Elections in Pakistan next year have increased the significance of the verdict for Sharif and his PML-N party.

The case essentially seeks disqualification of 67-year-old Sharif over his alleged misstatement in his address to the nation on April 5 and his speech before the National Assembly on May 16, 2016.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is the main petitioner in the Panama case involving alleged illegal money laundering by Sharif in 1990s when he twice served as Prime Minister to purchase assets in London.

The assets surfaced when Panama papers showed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif's family.

Imran's party is hoping that Sharif will be disqualified after the Supreme Court's verdict as "irrefutable evidence" has been presented against him in the court.

"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will go home tomorrow (Thursday) after the apex court's verdict in Panama case. The premier is going to be disqualified in the light of irrefutable evidence presented against him in the court," the party's Secretary General, Jehangir Tareen said.

The ruling PML-N, meanwhile, is weighing the option of early election in case of an adverse verdict by the Supreme Court. The party held meetings on Wednesday to chalk out its strategy.

"The option of early election (this year) is being discussed by the leadership in case of the apex court's decision affecting Prime Minister Sharif," a PML-N leader told the Press Trust of India.

He said there had been two points of view in the party in case of an adverse verdict — one supporting the option of going into early election justifying that it would not let Imran Khan exploit the situation and the PML-N would easily retain its position in next polls.

The other group in the PML-N is against going for early election.

"We should complete our tenure no matter what the decision is. The party should go for the option of giving the replacement of Sharif as early election will not be a good option," he said.

Tweeting on the eve of the verdict, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif said:

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: April 20, 2017, 9:23 AM IST
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