So it happened! The final verdict of the Panama Case is out; Nawaz Sharif has been ousted for life over undeclared assets.
So it happened!
After a long dark night of injustice, Pakistan has seen a new dawn of justice where all are equal, where no one is above law, where even the premier of the country can be sent packing if found guilty.
Laudable Role of Court
The ‘Godfather’ of Pakistan politics, the head of ‘Sicilian Mafia’, as the top court described him in its April 20th verdict, has been removed from the office.
Why would a senior judge of the Supreme Court use such harsh words for the sitting prime minister? It be would explained later.
The court has also ordered a criminal investigation into the assets of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, one of Sharif’s closest allies, his partner in crime in money laundering since the 90s.
The apex court has also disqualified Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Nawaz, her husband Safdar, and their two sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz.
So a lot has happened in just one day, the three times prime minister, the symbol of Punjab’s politics was ousted from Pakistani politics for good.
Juxtaposing Contrast in Response
Pakistan celebrated it as if it was Thanksgiving Day. Frankly, I have never seen a nation as happy without a prime minister.
However, the supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are still finding ways to show solidarity to the disqualified prime minister.
The arguments as lame and baseless as their choice of leadership, some of them with a counter argument are as follow:
“Our PM was not ousted for corruption charges, but for hiding assets. This is unfair. This will bring political turmoil in the country. The justice has been denied, and it was a judicial murder of Nawaz, etc…”
Well, these are the people who distributed sweets on the streets when on April 20th, the Supreme Court ruled there was insufficient evidence to remove Sharif from office – by a 3-2 verdict – but it ordered a probe by an investigative panel that included members of the military intelligence agencies.
They hailed it as their victory and it was celebrated the whole weekend until the JIT began its probe.
Why were they so content and relaxed when the two judges had already declared Nawaz as a liar and dishonest, the Godfather of the famous novel?
Capriciousness of Judges
Well, the Sharifs have a history of influencing judges and probe officers with their money, power or whatever it takes to win a case. It is why they have ‘come clean’ out of 42 references filed against them so far in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The judges that favoured Sharifs have enjoyed perks after retirement; some given key posts in the government, late Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, the former governor of Sindh is the latest example of that.
Mr. Siddiqui had bailed him out of Contempt of Court when Nawaz ordered an attack on sitting Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah who ruled against his government in 1997.
So, believing in their powers, the ruling party must have thought they would ‘handle’ the JIT. Who else in Pakistan had given the JIT a chance? Who thought the probing team would deliver so much against them in just two months?
Nawaz Sharif & Company
From Park Lane flats to Hill Metal, to ZAFA to identifying submission of forged documents, what the JIT has done for this country, exposing the biggest Mafia, is a true service to the country. They are hailed as national heroes.
Now that the corruption of the Sharifs has been established, they have failed to produce any single evidence (except for the forged documents that the court rejected) or provide the money trail that proves the apartments were bought by legal means.
The five member bench unanimously declared Nawaz Sharif as dishonest and a liar, for hiding assets and properties abroad and unfit to hold a public office or a position in a political party for life under article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.
“What lies? What proves Nawaz Sharif’s dishonesty? It’s an international conspiracy against democracy.”
The lies about undeclared assets, the dishonesty for submitting fraudulent documents, for concealment of offshore companies, for taking Aqamah (work/stay permit) in UAE, and so on.
How unfortunate is that a prime minister of the only nuclear power in the Muslim world was an employee for an UAE firm while RULING over a 200 million people’s country. Yes, sir, I’m ashamed, yes, but that’s a fact.
Factually Untrue Conspiracy Theories
“This was a plot of military establishment against Nawaz Sharif because; the establishment hates political stability in the country.”
Very well, those prevailing this rhetoric must remember when their beloved Nawaz Sharif, back in the 1990’s dethroned at least three governments with the help of the military establishment and the right-wing parties just to come into power.
For instance, for the sake of argument, let’s accept this idea but, I’m confused, wasn’t it a military dictator who suggested to Nawaz to take millions of dollars as a kickback for motorway projects in the 90s?
Which military lord had suggested them to launder that money and establish offshore companies in the British tax havens?
Who in the world was conspiring against you when your own son confessed to those multi-million dollars Park Lans flats belong to his family and that they were bought in 1992?
Justice Has Been Served
It is true that the apex court has disqualified Nawaz on the weakest ground in the case, they had many solid reasons available, not to forget the same court has ordered the trial court to open all the corruption-related cases against Nawaz and family, and ordered to conclude it within six months.
Those saying the Nawaz was innocent until proven guilty (for misuse of office or corruption) should also remember the remarks of Justice Saeed Azmat (one of the five members of the bench hearing the Panama Papers case) that “Courts only give their opinion in the form of verdict. This is not a trial court. [We] don’t want to influence the trial court’s process.”
They should also be told that this was an apex court, not a trial court. So the cases related to corruption were referred to NAB trial court. Don’t worry, your wishes will come true sooner or later, the corruption charges will be proven against the mafia.
The court has also ordered to put the Sharifs’ names on the Exit Control List (ECL) so that this time, they cannot flee to Jeddah.
The ‘Indispensable’ Delusion
It is true that no prime minister in Pakistan’s political history completed his five-year term. Regardless of the ‘reasons’ behind this instability, this country never comes to standstill.
It does not run on individuals, because no individual is indispensable. The graveyards are full of indispensables.
It is the system, the rule of law that is above all and that should flourish. Pakistan should flourish!
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