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Supreme Court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in unanimous verdict

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Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and ordered the National Accountability Board to file its reference against him and his family within six weeks. A five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa delivered the verdict. On July 21, the court had reserved its verdict after concluding the hearing.

The allegation of money laundering by 67-year-old Sharif is of during his tenure as Prime Minister in the 1990s, when he purchased assets in London.

In May, the Supreme Court set up a six-member joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the charges against Sharif and his family. The JIT submitted its report to the court on July 10. In its report, the JIT said the lifestyle of Sharif and his children were beyond their known sources of income, and recommended filing of a new corruption case against them. Sharif dismissed the report as a “bundle of baseless allegations” and refused to quit, despite demands to do so from several quarters, including opposition political parties.

In the wake of the verdict, Islamabad police have announced special security arrangements and closed the capital’s central “Red Zone” area, which has important buildings including the Supreme Court, for the general public.

This is Sharif’s third term as Prime Minister of Pakistan, and leads Pakistan’s most powerful political family and the ruling PML-N party. Interestingly, both of Nawaz Sharif’s earlier stints have ended in the third year of his tenure. A steel tycoon-cum-politician, Sharif had served as the Pakistan’s prime minister for the first time from 1990 to 1993. His second term from 1997 was ended in 1999 by Army chief Pervez Musharraf in a coup.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court took up the case in October 2016 on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami and reserved the verdict in February after conducting hearings on a daily basis.


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Muslim Global: Supreme Court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in unanimous verdict
Supreme Court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in unanimous verdict
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