Friday, March 24, 2023

Supreme Court issues detailed verdict rejecting Nawaz Sharif’s review petitions in Panama case


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday issued a detailed verdict rejecting review petitions filed by the Sharif family in the Panama Papers case, ARY News reported.

“No ground has been taken in these review petitions nor any argument has been advanced at the bar questioning anything observed or concluded by me in my separate opinion recorded in the main case. The other Honourable members of the Bench have not felt persuaded to review their opinions already recorded. These review petitions are, therefore, dismissed,” Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa wrote.

About the Iqama question, the apex court maintained that it “could not have shut eyes when an asset of the petitioner arising out
of IQAMA (work permit) having surfaced during the investigation of the case and admitted by him to be his in no uncertain terms, was not found to have
been disclosed in his nomination papers because he happened to be the Prime Minister of the country. Much higher level of integrity is expected of  the holder of the highest elected office of the country. But to our dismay and disappointment, the petitioner has not been fair and forthright in answering
any of the queries made during the course of the hearing. He never came forth with the whole truth.

The court observed that Nawaz Sharif tried to “fool the people inside and outside the Parliament” and  even tried to fool the Court without realizing that “you can fool all the people for some of the time, some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.

The bench observed that “the Prime Minister of the country is thought to be the ethos personified of the nation he represents at the national and international level, denying an asset established or defending a trust deed written in 2006 in a font becoming commercial in 2007 is below his dignity and decorum of the office he holds. An Urdu verse may perhaps explain the feeling of a follower about the leader which reads:-

ادھر ا ُدھر کی نہ بات کر یہ بتا کہ قافلہ کیوں ل ُٹا
مجھے راہزنوں سے گلہ نہیں تیری رہبری کا سوال ہے

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court dismissed a set of review petitions filed by Nawaz Sharif and members of his family against the July 28 verdict in Panama case on September 15.

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 and will issue a detailed verdict later.

On July 28, the apex court had disqualified then PM Nawaz Sharif in a unanimous verdict in the Panama case, thus cutting short his third stint in power. Soon after the SC judgement, the PM House issued a terse statement saying that Nawaz Sharif, despite having reservations on the SC’s verdict, has stepped down from his post as the premier.

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.


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