Panama Papers Verdict: PM Nawaz Sharif survives corruption ruling

Panama Case verdict to be announced tomorrow

The Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has narrowly survived an attempt in the supreme court to unseat him on allegations of corruption levelled by the opposition.

A Joint Investigation team (JIT) will be formed to carry out further investigation as per the court's verdict and the committee comprising of one senior official each from the FIA, NAB, SECP, SBP, ISI, and MI will be tasked to probe the assets. It will present its report before the bench after every two weeks and will complete its investigation in 60 days.

The new investigation team is to focus on how the family members transferred money from Pakistan to Qatar that was later allegedly used to buy property in London using offshore companies.

Sharif was first accused of corruption after three of his children were linked to offshore accounts uncovered by the 2015 Panama Papers leak. Then it also highlighted how Nawaz Sharif had failed to mention in his written response in court regarding the sales from Jeddah factory being the main source of his acquisition of the London properties (which he had earlier claimed in his National Assembly speech).

"How can he continue as Prime Minister when he is being investigated?"

Sharif could be dismissed as prime minister.

The inclusion of the intelligence agencies in the investigation means Sharif and his family "won't be able to play around or drag their feet", he said.

The decision is important for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) and Sharif because he might project it as a clean chit by the apex court.

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Prime Minister Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, sons - Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, retired Capt Muhammad Safdar (the PM's son-in-law) and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar were among the respondents in the case.

Zardari told the media, "On what grounds is PML-N celebrating and distributing candies?"

Various parties, including the state bank, the Inter-Services Intelligence and the military intelligence will form part of the investigation team.

Sharif's family has acknowledged owning offshore businesses.

"With today's decision, not only democracy but also justice itself have been damaged".

As the court made its much-awaited verdict, protesters requesting Sharif to step down gathered in front of the building as well as Sharif's supporters did.

Following the Panamagate verdict, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday once again demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation over corruption allegations.

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