NationalVolume 12 Issue # 24

From disqualification to jail?

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a landmark verdict in the Panama case. The decision has permanently shut the door of power on him as there is no provision in the law to appeal against the conviction. Besides being unseated, he and his three children also face criminal charges, which may land them in jail in a few months.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, unanimously ruled that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was unfit for holding office and also ordered an accountability court to open corruption references against him, his sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz, her husband Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, whose son is husband to the prime minister’s younger daughter. In its order, the court said, “The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) shall issue a notification disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from being a member of the Parliament with immediate effect, after which he shall cease to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.” Subsequently, he was unseated. The judges ruled that Nawaz Sharif had been dishonest to the parliament and the courts when he failed to disclose his employment in the Dubai-based Capital FZE company in his 2013 nomination papers and, thus, could not be deemed fit for his office. “It is hereby declared that having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from Capital FZE Jebel Ali, UAE, in his nomination papers filed for the general elections held in 2013 in terms of Section 12(2)(f) of the Representation of the People Act, 1976 (ROPA), and having furnished a false declaration under solemn affirmation, respondent No. 1 Nawaz Sharif is not honest in terms of Section 99(f) of ROPA and Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, and therefore he is disqualified to be a Member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”