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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Resigns Over Panama Papers Verdict

Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office.

The ruling came after a probe into his family’s wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif’s children to offshore companies.

Mr Sharif has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the case.

The verdict was handed down unanimously by a five-member bench in the court.

“Following the verdict, Nawaz Sharif has resigned from his responsibilities as prime minister,” a spokesman for Mr Sharif’s office said in a statement.

The court was filled to capacity on Friday, and there was heightened security in the capital, with tens of thousands of troops and police deployed.

One of the judges at the Supreme Court, Ejaz Afzal Khan, said that Mr Sharif was no longer “eligible to be an honest member of the parliament”, Reuters news agency reports.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan earlier advised Mr Sharif to accept Friday’s verdict.

The court has recommended anti-corruption cases against several individuals, including Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others.

Mr Sharif, who was serving as prime minister for a record third time, was less than a year away from becoming the first in Pakistani history to complete a full term in office.

He served as prime minister from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 until he was toppled in a bloodless coup in October 1999.

No civilian prime minister of Pakistan has ever completed a five-year term.

Allegations of corruption have chased Mr Sharif since the 1980s. And much of what the Panama Papers revealed was the subject of a federal inquiry in the mid-1990s.

 

BBC

 

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