ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan delivered the long-awaited verdict in the Panama Case and ordered an investigation into how money was transferred to Qatar, a year after a Panama Papers revelations linked the prime minister's family to offshore businesses.
The apex court ruled against the disqualification of the prime minister with a 3:2 ratio and ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation team (JIT) to carry out the investigation, which should present its report every two weeks before the five-judge bench.
Speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court PMLN leaders declared the ruling as a victory.
"Mian Nawaz Sharif had written the letter asking for a commission to be formed to investigate the matter, and, the Supreme Court has delivered the same order that Mian Nawaz Sharif had six months ago," said Khawaja Asif
Ahsan Iqbal termed the Supreme Court verdict was a clear defeat to those who were trying to move against the mandate of the Pakistani people.
Khawaja Saad Rafique
PML-N leader, Khawaja Saad Rafique, while addressing the members of press outside the Supreme Court said, “Today, once again, Nawaz Sharif, his team, PML-N, our voters, and all Pakistanis who are advocates of democracy won.”
Rafique emphasised that the order to create a joint investigation team was the victory of the PM’s point of view.
"The PMLN caravan under the chairmanship of Nawaz Sharif will continue forward," Rafique told journalists.
“One is a constitutional court, and the other was created on the roads. Another one was created on some television channels. Our opponents conspired against us and tried to defame us, but they were defeated today,” the PML-N leader said. “Nawaz Sharif is Alhamdulilah both ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’.”
Rafique further stated that the PTI chief “should stop getting jealous and stop crying.” He said there is still time for Imran Khan to go back and deliver his promises to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“With Nawaz Sharif leading the party, the PML-N will win in the people’s court in 2018. Not only will we establish our government in all four provinces, we will also get a two-thirds majority,” he said.
The cursing culture was defeated today, Rafique said as PML-N supporters chanted the “Go Imran go” slogan
PML-N leader and Minister of State of Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman said the PTI was able to fool its followers but failed to do the same in front of the Supreme Court.
"Imran Khan must be held accountable for wasting the public’s time," Rahman said. "He will pay for this in the 2018-election. Khan will lose the 20-25 seats that he presently has."
Khawaja Muhammad Asif
"Mian Nawaz Sharif wrote a letter to the SC to put together a commission and probe into the matter, and today the SC, by a majority, announced the same decision that the PM suggested six months ago," PML-N leader and the Minister of Defence and Power said.
He stated that the SC's verdict established that the proofs and witness accounts that PML-N's opponents presented before the court were insufficient, and further investigation was required into them.
"I want to tell all those people who wanted or want the PM to be disqualified that Sharif will serve on his position till 2018, and we are confident that he will get re-elected for the next five years as well," Asif told the journalists.