The Supreme Court has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on “disputed facts”, leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) claimed, hours after the top court’s verdict in Panama Papers case.
“The court’s verdict has been bifurcated into two parts. The first part is about Panama Papers but the Supreme Court didn’t touch it and asked NAB to file a reference instead. The court cited a certificate of a company in the Middle East owned by the prime minister’s son as the reason for his disqualification,” Law Minister Zahid Hamid told reporters in Islamabad on Friday.
“The company had ceremoniously chosen Nawaz as a director whose AED10,000 salary was payable to him, however, he never received it,” the minister added.
The top court’s five-judge larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa disqualified the PM for failing to disclose his un-withdrawn salary as chairman of UAE-based offshore company Capital FZE.
‘WhatsApp as evidence’
Earlier, lamenting that the digital message application WhatsApp was used as evidence in the case Barrister Zafar Ullah said: “We have not seen in the human history that WhatsApp was used as evidence.”
Claiming that the apex court didn’t find any embezzlement of even a single rupee against the premier, the PML-N leader said the allegations, which were put forward by the petitioner, were not found eligible by the apex court.
Zafar Ullah went on to disparage Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), saying it could not gather attention through a sit-in and a lock down of the capital, and relied on Panama Papers.
“The report is entirely based on soft record. All the documents are photocopies. Justice hasn’t been served as per our understanding of the legislation,” he said.
Railways Minister Saad Rafique on the occasion said the ruling party was treated unfairly in the case.
“Today is not a historic but a dark day in the history of Pakistan. It is not the first time but this happened to us repeatedly. Nawaz Sharif was removed not for corruption but over holding a ceremonial post in his son’s company,” Saad said, adding those celebrating the premier’s ouster will regret it in the days to come.
“We’ll go into the people’s court and nobody can stop us from it. We have struggled for this country, our forefathers have given their sweat and blood and we too have served the militaristic atrocities too. We have asked our supporters to stay peaceful as we will not allow anyone to disparage the integrity of the institutions.”
‘History won’t accept it’
Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi said his party respected the verdict but it was their right to reveal facts for “our fellow countrymen”.
He said the prime minister was disqualified because he did not take any money from his son. “History will not accept this verdict. We want to put this before people that no allegation of corruption has been proved against Nawaz Sharif.”
‘Had reservations on accountability process since day one’
Minister for Planning & Development Ahsan Iqbal said his party had reservations on the accountability process but it still decided to face it.
“All the allegations against the prime minister were proved wrong but he was disqualified over a single undeclared asset. It seems unbelievable as it does not cause any change in the wealth statement of Nawaz Sharif,” he said.
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