Pakistan

We expected this outcome: Rafique reacts to Panama review petitions’ rejection

ISLAMABAD: Reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict dismissing the review petitions of members of the Sharif family, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Friday that they expected their petitions would be rejected.

“We expected this outcome, yet we approached the Supreme Court to have our reservations redressed and the record set straight through the review petitions,” the railway minister said while addressing media hours after the apex court dismissed the petitions filed by Nawaz Sharif, his children, and finance minister Ishaq Dar.

Rafique said the Sharif family had for the umpteenth times expressed their reservations over the constitution of a joint investigation team by the court to investigate the Panama Papers and the way it carried out the investigation.

In a veiled criticism of the Supreme Court judges for their reference to Mario Puzo’s Godfather in the Panama Papers verdict and Sicilian mafia during the hearing of Panama Papers case, he said: “Our leadership is neither godfather nor mafia.”

The railway minister said despite conspiracies being hatched against Nawaz Sharif, his popularity has increased in public.

He said the parliament should also be given the same respect as the judiciary, adding that Pakistan could not afford any confrontation between state institutions.

Dispelling the impression of any rifts within the party, Rafique said his party was united under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif suffered another setback on Friday when a five-member bench of the Supreme Court dismissed a set of review petitions filed by him and members of his family against the July 28 verdict in Panama Papers case.

The bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, dismissed the petitions through a short order. The court will issue a detailed verdict later.

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