Pakistan's top court rejects call to disqualify prime minister

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While PML-N has declared its "victory" in Supreme Court split decision on much-anticipated Panama Case, the opposition Pakistan People's Party has called for resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The court directed Sharif and his two sons - Hasan and Hussain - to appear before the JIT.

The joint investigation team will submit its report within 60 days.

"It is a setback for him, at least for the next two months or so - though this may change quickly if the investigation committee set up by the court finds the Pakistan prime minister and his family guilty of money laundering", Alam explains.

The court acted on petitions from opposition lawmakers dating back to documents leaked in 2016 from a Panama-based law firm that indicated Sharif's sons owned several offshore companies. "If Aitzaz Ahsan stood there and argued against them [the Sharif family], then the decision might have been different".

Almeida said the prime minister's main vulnerability was the continuing electricity crisis, which he had been unable to solve.

"He should resign from his position on moral grounds", said Pervaz Ahmad, an Islamabad resident.

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The inclusion of the intelligence agencies in the investigation means Sharif and his family "won't be able to play around or drag their feet", he said. In its ruling, it said sufficient evidence was not available to order his removal from office. At least the prime minister's children admitted that they own property overseas.

Maryam tweeted a photo of Sharif, his family and PML-N leaders celebrating the verdict with smiles and embraces. "There is no clean chit for the prime minister, but for the time being he has been saved from being disqualified".

It also proved a boon for the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) that had undergone a rollercoaster journey in the run-up to the announcement of Thursday's verdict.

Sharif's family has acknowledged owning offshore businesses.

The opposition parties after a year-long protest both inside and outside the Parliament had finally taken the case to the country's top court expecting a verdict to oust Sharif from his post.

He expressed doubts that junior officers working under Sharif can not deliver justice as part of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) when the highest court failed to deliver justice.

Questioning the decision to include NAB officials in the JIT, Imran said, 'Today, SC said NAB has failed. "I also says that people have been made fools through the judgement", said Zardari. The JIT must report its progress to the court on a weekly basis.

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