The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday ruled that ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cannot rule the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz as he had been barred from holding any public office. It citied articles 62 and 63 of the Pakistani Constitution, which state that a disqualified individual cannot lead a party, Pakistan Today reported.
The order comes six months after the Supreme Court disqualified him as prime minister of Pakistan after corruption charges surfaced against him and his family in the Panama Papers case.
“The Election Commission is directed to remove the name of Nawaz Sharif as president of PML-N from all official records,” Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said, according to Reuters.
The Supreme Court’s order overturns the amendment the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz introduced in the law, which allowed Sharif to continue heading the party despite being legally barred from holding any public office. It also renders “null and void” all decisions Sharif made as the party’s president since his disqualification, according to Pakistan Today.
The Panama Papers case
The Supreme Court had set up a Joint Investigation Team after Sharif was named in the Panama Papers in 2016. The leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca had revealed that three of his children – his sons Hassan and Hussain Sharif and his daughter Maryam Sharif – owned offshore companies and undisclosed assets, including four expensive flats in London’s Park Lane.
The bench had begun its hearing in the corruption case against Sharif on July 17, 2017. It had heard arguments from lawyers of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan Awami Muslim League politician Sheikh Rashid. The court had concluded the hearing on July 21 and reserved its judgement.
The panel had said it had found significant disparities between Sharif’s and his family’s income and their actual wealth, and recommended filing a corruption case against them. The family members implicated include Sharif’s