Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualifies PM Nawaz Sharif from office
Sharif's family is accused of using illegitimate funds to buy several high-end properties in London. The accusations surfaced after the publication of the Panama Papers. Photograph: (Reuters)
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office in a landmark ruling after a damaging corruption probe into his family wealth.
The top court dismissed Sharif after a probe panel alleged his family could not account for its wealth.
"He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister," Judge Ejaz Afzal Khan ruled.
According to Pakistani media reports, the PM House issued a statement shortly after the verdict saying that Sharif has stepped down from his post despite having “strong reservations” on the court’s verdict.
A PML-N spokesperson told Dawn that the party will utilise all constitutional and legal means to contest the verdict.
67-year-old Sharif, who was serving as the PM for a third time, has always denied these allegations and had dismissed the investigation as slander,
Sharif's party members and allies have alleged there was a conspiracy to unseat him.
"This is not accountability, it is revenge," tweeted railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq hours before the verdict was announced. "In an effort dislodge us, the democratic system has been made a target."
Sharif’s previous stints to power were also cut short, one by a military coup in 1999.
His PML-N party, which has a majority in the parliament, is now expected to appoint a new prime minister.
The Supreme Court laso disqualified finance minister Ishaq Dar from office after an investigation into the wealth of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, state-run PTV news channel said.
Dar was Sharif's former accountant and he had submitted documents to the court about how the Sharif family obtained their wealth that included a portfolio of upscale London properties.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was found guilty in the Panama Papers scandal. The Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified him and directed him to immediately step down from his post. (WION)