Panama Papers Case: Supreme Court issues notices to Nawaz Sharif, others

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday began hearing five petitions filed to seek disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others in the wake of Panama leaks, and issued notices to respondents.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Barrister Zafar­ullah Khan of Watan Party and Advocate Asad.

The court issued notices to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Captain (retd) Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, director general Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), and the attorney general in the Panama papers case.

Later, the apex court adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Talking to media after the hearing, the PTI Chairman Imran Khan said that he was happy to know that the Supreme Court had called the prime minister. He said that now all hidden things would be revealed but added that it didn’t mean that we would end our protest.

Imran Khan further said that the Parliament had not performed its duties in this regard.

“We won’t divulge in any political issue. We are protesting against accountability institutes,” he said.

Separately, talking to newsmen along with Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq in Islamabad, the Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif says accountability was the basic pillar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and ready to answer at any forum.

Khawaja Asif said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had voluntarily presented himself for accountability by writing letter to the Supreme Court for formation of the Judicial Commission to probe the allegations regarding the Panama Papers.

The minister said that PTI and others had moved the apex court for the investigation into Panama Papers’ issue and today the court issued notices and the government welcomes the move.

The defence minister said that Nawaz Sharif was ready to appear before any forum including the Supreme Court, the Parliament, the Election Commission, and people’s court.