SC issues notice to Nawaz, others in Panamagate petition

ISLAMABAD: Today the Supreme Court issued notices to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Capt (R) Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, director general Federal Investigation Agency, chairman Federal Board of Revenue, and the attorney general regarding the Panama leaks case.

A three member bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, had taken up the petitions seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Awami Muslim League in their petitions have urged the apex court to set up a commission to investigate Panama Leaks issue and for the disqualification of the Prime Minister for concealing assets.

The judge has remarked that the decision to deem the petitions admissible for hearing will be made after hearing the stance of Attorney General and all the parties mentioned in the petition. The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.

Following the hearing, PTI chief Imran Khan talked to reporters and vowed to bring "king" Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under law. He said the court hearing was the first step in the accountability process.

He requested the SC for speedy trial of the case adding that they have already been waiting to get justice for more than three years. "Justice delayed is justice denied," he asserted.

"We hope that the case's proceedings will reveal details of several issues that were concealed from the nation."

He regretted that "the parliament did not play its role" but expressed satisfaction that the SC did.

The PTI chief said that protest is the party's constitutional right. "Our protest is against the prime minister and all corrupt institutions."

It is our legal right to protest and to knock the doors of judiciary, he said adding that the PTI was using both of its rights. 'We are not afraid of accountability'

Responding to PTI chief, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said, "We are not afraid of accountability."

In a counter-strike, he asked Imran Khan why he invested charity for the Shaukat Khanam Hospital into his friends's company.

"Nawaz Sharif is ready to answer each and every question. We will not resist on any judicial or public forum."

But the question is, who will hold Imran Khan accountable for his misdeeds, he said.

Awami Muslim League chief Shaikh Rashid, who is also a petitioner seeking disqualification of the prime minister, said that nation has been looking to the judiciary for justice.

He said that he asked the judges to give a showcause notice to PM Nawaz.

Talking about November 2nd protest, he said, "We will block the entire capital city, including airports."

"I am a beacon of hope for people and I distribute hopes among people."

The PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Barrister Zafar­ullah Khan of Watan Party, AML chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Advocate Asad had filed petitions seeking the disqualification of the PM and his family members

PM welcomes SC decision over Panama Papers

Having full confidence Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has welcomed decision by the Supreme Court over the Panama Papers today adding that he had faith in the constitution.

"I believe in the constitution, supremacy of the law and transparency," he said.

The decision from the Prime Minister came against the expectations of the PTI and Awami League and according to observers now they would have no justification to lay a siege of Islamabad till the verdict of the Supreme Court.

The issue of the Panama Papers was brought to the notice of the Election Commission, Lahore High Court, and the Supreme Court.

The statement from the Prime Minister House came after a high level meeting presided by the Prime Minister was held to discuss the Supreme Court decision of sending a notice to prime minister in relation to the Panama Leaks.

During the meeting the attorney general briefed the prime minister over the legal proceedings regarding the case.

Nawaz Sharif said people's court is giving its verdict in by-elections and it will be better to wait for Supreme Court's decision as well.

He said he had announced to form a commission comprising retired judges of the Supreme Court soon after the Panama issue came into force so that facts could be revealed to the people.

He said on opposition's demand, a letter was also written to the chief justice of the apex court to form a judicial commission to probe the matter.

The Prime Minister said that the government also formed a parliamentary committee to prepare consensus Terms of Reference (ToRs), in the light of Supreme Court's directions.

He said despite having numerical superiority in the parliament, equal representation was given to the opposition in the ToRs committee. He said it is unfortunate that no consensus was reached, despite sincere efforts from the government side.

Nawaz Sharif said that the government also tabled a bill in the parliament to make the proposed Judicial commission more effective and powerful, but the opposition tabled a parallel bill against the constitutional and legal requirements

The Prime Minister said he had presented his stance on the issue with great detail in the National Assembly, but the opposition kept busy in negative propaganda hindering transparent and impartial investigations.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister and Khawaja Asif were present in the meeting.

The Supreme Court issued notices to all parties including the Prime Minister today as it began hearing five petitions regarding the Panama Papers which have overshadowed political landscape of the country for the last several months.

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