The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned for two hours a hearing of the Panamagate case calling for disqualification of the prime minister and his close family members for their alleged investment in offshore companies.
The top court said it would decide on a commission to probe the Panama Papers leaks after getting an assurance from both the government and PTI that they agree to a commission.
The apex court suspended the hearing for two hours and directed both parties to submit their comments after consulting their respective leadership. It added that it will decide that who will chair the commission and who will be the members.
A five-judge apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Amir Hani Muslim, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Hassan heard the proceedings just a day ahead of the anticipated lockdown of Islamabad by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
In his remarks, CJ Jamali said the case will be heard on a daily basis.
Petitions were moved by Advocate Tariq Asad, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, PTI chief Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League head Sheikh Rashid Ahmed asking for the appointment of a judicial commission to investigate the investment made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family in an offshore investment company called Mossack Fonseca.
Implications for Nov 2 ‘lockdown’
Analysts feel the formation of a commission to probe the allegations in the Panama Papers will affect the momentum of Imran Khan’s planned protest tomorrow.
Journalist Mazhar Abbas speaking to DawnNews said, “If the commission is formed, the importance of November 2 decreases.”
“The lawyers on both sides are very competent. We should hope that both parties will trust the Supreme Court to make the right decision.”
Analyst Nusrat Javed, however, felt that Khan is committed to go ahead with the protest and will find a reason to move ahead.
“If he doesn’t, any call he makes for a protest thereafter will not be taken seriously.”
Javed added that as the apex court has made a decision, Khan should delay his planned agitation.
Govt pledges ‘complete faith’ in judiciary
Speaking to reporters after the top court adjourned proceedings, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said
“Now the judiciary has taken up the matter, there is no logic in agitation on streets.”
“Both the accused and accuser are standing before court so I think the nation should be given relief from the agony of this protest.”
He added that the government has “complete faith in the judiciary”.
“Within two hours, we will submit our reply in court after consulting with our leadership.”