Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Panamagate case: Zardari demands Sharif's resignation

Panamagate case: Zardari demands Sharif's resignation

"A thorough investigation is required", Khosa said, as quoted by the Geo TV broadcaster, adding that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) would be created in order to look into the activities of Zarif and his family, and to listen to the testimonies of both the politician and his relatives involved in the scandal.

The five-judge panel, formed by Pakistan's Supreme Court in November 2016 to investigate Sharif, delivered its ruling after two months of deliberation. The investigative unit should submit its report within 60 days, he said.

"It is a setback for him, at least for the next two months or so - though this may change quickly if the investigation committee set up by the court finds the Pakistan prime minister and his family guilty of money laundering", Alam explains.

The prime minister has insisted his father built up the family business before Sharif entered politics in the 1980s. Simply, Prime Minister Sharif has got minor relief and major headache from this verdict.

The 540-page verdict had two dissenting notes by Justice Khosa and Justice Gulzar, who said that Sharif should be disqualified. The decision was celebrated by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), as it removed, for the time being, the fear of PM's removal from office.

Various parties, including the state bank, the Inter-Services Intelligence and the military intelligence will form part of the investigation team. The opposition accuses Sharif of failing to explain the source of money in offshore companies owned by his children and of lying to parliament.

Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has said the verdict given by the Supreme Court in Panama Papers case is a victory of the people.

"With the decision of today, not only democracy but also justice itself have been damaged". I also says that people have been made fool through the judgement, ” Zardari said.

Among the global elite implicated were three of Sharif's four children - his daughter and presumptive political heir Maryam, and his sons Hasan and Hussein.

The affair comes ahead of next year's general election at which Imran Khan, the chair of the opposition Pakistan Movement of Justice party (PTI) is to challenge Sharif.

Zardari's close aide Aitzaz Ahsan said the JIT ordered by the court actually was meant to give escape to Sharif.

Earlier, the area around the Supreme Court, located in Islamabad's Red Zone, was put on "red alert", with around 1,500 police, rangers and frontier constabulary personnel deployed for security and maintaining peace.

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