Sharif survives Panamagate

SC says not enough evidence to disqualify him

Islamabad, Publish Date: Apr 21 2017 1:21AM | Updated Date: Apr 21 2017 1:21AM
Sharif survives PanamagateFile Photo

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday survived the Panamagate scandal that had threatened to oust him. The Supreme Court, in a 3-2 judgement, ordered a fresh probe into allegations of financial irregularities and money laundering, while noting that there was "insufficient evidence" to remove Sharif.

The final verdict saw two dissenting notes in the five-judge bench, with Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed ruling against Sharif, saying he should be disqualified, while the other three were in favour of forming a Joint Investigation Team for a fresh probe.

Reading the 540-page verdict, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked how the Sharif family assets were transferred from Pakistan to Jeddah in the first place. 

"It needs to be investigated how the money was transferred to Qatar," the verdict read. A JIT, made up of officials from the military and other investigating agencies, would be set up within a week and submit a report in 60 days, the court.

Justice Khosa said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had failed to probe the case properly but they would be part of the JIT.

Sharif, who many in Pakistan feared might be forced to step down on Thursday, will appear before the probe team. IANS