ISLAMABAD: Adjourning the Panama Papers Leaks Case for two weeks, the Supreme Court of Pakistan issued notices to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the parties concerned on Thursday.
The apex court took up petitions in the case today, seeking disqualification of the prime minister as leader of the government and his family members.
On behalf of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Hamid Khan and Naeem Bukhari appeared in front of a three-judge Supreme Court bench.
Apart from PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Barrister Zafarullah Khan of Watan Party have also filed petitions in the same case.
United opposition brigade
Talking to media outside the court, Chairman PTI, Imran Khan lauded the top court drive for taking up the controversial issue what he believed should have been raised by the parliament.
A case in the court against the chief executive of the country was the first step to bring him under the law who thinks he is above everything, he said along with Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Sirajul Haq.
The Chairman PTI said, PM Nawaz never presented himself for accountability in the case and justice delayed meant justice denied.
On his turn, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed asked the media if others could be disqualified, why not PM Nawaz Sharif could.
According to Sirajul Haq, the government was not serious about an investigation into the case while Shah Mehmood Qureshi said they were fighting a corrupt system.
‘Opposition targeting PM’
PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique said the opposition parties were only trying to target the premier in the case and claimed they had no interest in the case itself.
He said the government took Panamagate issue on every forum but Imran Khan never trusted state institutions.
Rafique questioned when the case was already in the court while PTI wanted to close Islamabad.
In a counter attack, Khawaja Asif of Nawaz group once again demanded Imran Khan to inform the nation about the funds of the Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
A high-profile Scandal
For years, Khan had been leading an Accountability Movement in the country against the governing PML-N. Initially, he demanded a probe into the health of the elections 2013, which his party thinks were rigged.
Later names of several Pakistanis including Nawaz Sharif’s children Maryam, Hussain, and Hasan surfaced in one of the world’s biggest ever data leaks through an online searchable database made public by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in April 2016, following which the prime minister had formed an inquiry commission to probe his family’s alleged links to offshore accounts.
Unfortunately, the federal government and the opposition could not agree on drafting joint terms of references (ToRs), which would probe Panama Papers Leaks.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also failed to probe the case.
The PTI will now stage a protest sit-in in Islamabad on November 2. Earlier, the siege was planned for October 30 but then the party decided to change the date.
Imran Khan has warned PML-N of stern consequences if the government tried to stop PTI’s peaceful protest by any means, urging people in the country to support PTI in its drive against corruption in the country.
The Chairman PTI has already clarified that this time, the siege of the federal capital would continue until the resignation of the premier.