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Monday Jul 17 2017

Panama case: Opposition leaders express confidence in Supreme Court


ISLAMABAD: Prior to the start of the Panama Papers case, opposition leaders addressed the media outside the Supreme Court on Monday.

Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid — one of the petitioners in the original Panama Papers case — addressed the media saying the entire nation stands behind the apex court. “I’ll first see what the court says before submitting another petition to disqualify Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

Following Rashid, Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain spoke to the media. He said the Supreme Court is doing what the Parliament should have done.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi also addressed the media after Hussain. He said PTI is among other opposition parties that are demanding the resignation of the prime minister. "The government’s strategy since day one has been to delay the proceedings," he said while answering a question.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, one of the petitioners in the case, said there is no hidden agenda here, the nation only wants a corruption-free country. "Nawaz Sharif has to go now, there is no other way. We want no one in Parliament who does not adhere to articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution," he said.

The JI chief said they are hopeful that after this case, rule of law will be equal for all and others named in the Panama Leaks will be brought to book as well.

MQM-Pakistan chief Farooq Sattar said the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not have the high moral ground after the JIT report and should resign. 

“We all want that the case reaches its logical conclusion. PM should rule on high moral ground. However, after the JIT report, PM no longer has high moral ground to be the ruler. He should resign and face the court,” the MQM-P chief remarked.

Calling the situation a test for the country’s institutions as well as political parties, especially PML-N, Sattar said it was the responsibility of the ruling party to prevent the country from heading into a crisis.

The Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed in light of the apex court’s April 20 judgment to probe the Sharif family’s money trail, submitted its 60-day investigation report to the court on July 10.

The report highlighted the failure of the Sharif family to provide a money trail for its London apartments and claimed the prime minister and his children own assets beyond their known sources of income.

Following the report's submission, the special bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, issued notices to all parties to submit their responses. 

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