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28 Jul 2017   03:45:01 PM   Friday BdST A- A A+ Print this E-mail this

Pak supreme court disqualifies PM Sharif in a `judicial coup`

 Pak supreme court disqualifies PM Sharif in a `judicial coup`

Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif resigned Friday as the country`s supreme court disqualified him for holding office in what is seen as a `judicial coup` with the military masterminding it from the backstage.

His exit capped a long-drawn legal battle, often punctuated by street agitation and bloody acts of violence that passed for Islamist militancy in Pakistan`s fractious political arena, between the executive and the judiciary.

Observers believe the latest developments in Pakistan, amid raging tensions in the region and between it and its nuclear-armed rival neighbour India, should usher in another era of uncertainty in a nation ruled by the military in most part of its history since the 1947 Partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule.

A Dawn report said the Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in its verdict on the Panama Papers case.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who had headed the apex court`s implementation bench following its April 20 order on the Panama Papers case, announced that the larger bench had unanimously deemed PM Sharif unfit for holding office and would also order an accountability court to open references against him and his family, and other respondents.

Shortly after the order, the PM House issued a notification that Nawaz Sharif, despite having "strong reservations" on the SC’s verdict, stepped down from the post of premier.

Reacting to the court`s order, a PML-N spokesperson said that the party will utilise all legal and constitutional means to contest the verdict.

The judgment, announced shortly after 12pm, brings Sharif`s third term in power to an unceremonious end, roughly one year before the scheduled general election which would have seen him become first Pakistani prime minister to complete a full five-year term.

It is unclear at the moment who will be appointed to take over the post till the next polls, scheduled for 2018.

The federal cabinet was dissolved after Nawaz Sharif relinquished his responsibilities as the prime minister of Pakistan. Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq will stand in as interim prime minister.

"The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) shall issue a notification disqualifying Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif from being a member of the Parliament with immediate effect, after which he shall cease to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan,” Justice Khan told the packed courtroom.

The judges ruled that Nawaz had been dishonest to the parliament and the courts in not disclosing his employment in the Dubai-based Capital FZE company in his 2013 nomination papers, and thus, could not be deemed fit for his office.

"It is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE, in his nomination papers filed for the General Elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation respondent No. 1 Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)."



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