Pakistan

Panamagate: PM holds last-minute consultation with close aides

Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz sharif is holding last-minute consultation with federal ministers and his close aides ahead of much-awaited Panamagate case verdict of the Supreme Court today.

The Apex Court is going to announce today its verdict in the Panama case related to the his family’s alleged offshore wealth as well as money laundering while staying in power.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT), set up by the Supreme Court to investigate corruption allegations that surfaced following the Panamagate scandal, spent two months looking into the family’s wealth and gave its finding to the court on Monday.

In their report of the Panamagate probe, which has been leaked to media, the team alleges Sharif’s family accumulated wealth far above its earnings, and says his children, including heir-apparent Maryam Sharif, signed falsified documents designed to mask the truth.

In April, the Supreme Court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to remove Sharif from office – by a split 2-3 verdict – but it ordered further investigations, which the JIT was set up to carry out.

Sharif served as prime minister twice in the 1990s before he himself was ousted in a 1999 coup leading to a decade of exile.

He won a third term as prime minister in a 2013 election. Since then, periods of tension between him and the powerful military have led to questions about his prospects.

Sharif’s term expires in June 2018 and elections are expected two months later. If he would be forced to step down, his ruling PML-N party can appoint a new prime minister until the elections.

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