In this file photograph taken on June 5, 2013, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrives to inspect a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad. (AFP Photo)
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday declared that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ineligible to hold a public office for life, court records and local media reported.
The ruling, which has shut the doors of politics for the three-time premier, and for other politicians, including the secretary general of the main opposition party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jahangir Khan Tareen for life, was unanimously announced by a five-member bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar.
Sharif had been disqualified by the top court in July last year over the Panama Papers scandal. Tareen too was disqualified in December 2017 for hiding assets and owning an offshore company.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) has termed the judgment ” politically motivated”.
“This is another sequel of judgments, which have been given against elected public representatives in the past. And the people of Pakistan have always rejected these judgments,” Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb told reporters outside the Supreme Court.
Along with his daughter and other family members, Sharif, whose party came into power in a landslide victory in the 2013 general election, is already facing three corruption cases, which, he claims, are “cooked up” and aimed at ousting him and his party from politics.
In April 2016, Sharif’s eldest son, Hussain Nawaz, admitted in an interview with a local Pakistani channel that his family owned the offshore companies and the apartments in London.
He insisted the transactions were all legal and refused to make his assets public, claiming that such a move could harm his business interests.
The Panama Papers released by Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in April last year highlighted the involvement of various business ans political personalities , among them 11 current and former national leaders, claiming they worked with the firm Mossack Fonseca to establish shadow companies for global transactions and money laundering.
The revelation sent shockwaves across the world, resulting in the resignation of Iceland Premier Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.