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Panama Papers case is back to square one

Updated Dec 10, 2016 12:44pm

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ISLAMABAD: Procee­dings in the Panamagate case, which could possibly lead to the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, ended on Friday almost with a whimper when the Supreme Court said that arguments from both sides would commence afresh when the hearing resumes in January.

Earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) infor­med the court about its stance on the latter’s proposal of constituting a commission to conduct an inquiry into the allegations against the prime minister.

Naeem Bokhari, representing the opposition PTI, told the court that not only would the party oppose the formation of the inquiry commission but it would also boycott its proceedings.


PTI to boycott proceedings if inquiry commission is formed; hearing adjourned to first week of January


“We do not accept the concept of commission and if it is formed then we will boycott its proceedings,” Mr Bokhari said after Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who was heading the five-judge bench, asked him to advance his party’s stance.

Editorial: Panama commission

During the hearing on Dec 7, the court had asked the parties to inform it about their views on the formation of the commission.

On Friday, the court had to adjourn the proceedings to the first week of January because the chief justice is reaching superannuation on Dec 30 and will not hold court after Dec 15 when a farewell full court reference will be held for him.

And with only two working days left before Dec 15, it is not possible for the court to complete the proceedings and deliver a judgement in such a short span of time.

However before adjourning the hearing, the chief justice in the order said that “these matters shall not be treated as part heard”, meaning the arguments from both sides would commence afresh when the proceeding resumes.

It is most likely that Justice Asif Saeed Khosa may preside over the proceedings after Justice Jamali has laid down his robes since Chief Justice-designate Mian Saqib Nisar is unlikely to be part of the bench though a member would be needed to complete the five-judge bench.

Guarded jubilation

Though the order was received by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ranks with jubilation as many were seen giving each other self-congratulatory high fives, a senior counsel on condition of anonymity explained that the delay would go against the ruling party since PTI chief Imran Khan would continue hammering its leaders on corruption.

“I believe the delay was necessary in the circumstances but, regretfully, it also reflects the failure of our political forces to arrive at a fair and just solution [of] this issue of national importance,” commented former Supreme Court Bar Associa­tion president Ali Zafar after the hearing.

Former additional attorney general Tariq Khokhar said it would have been a correct course to appoint a commission since the Supreme Court would have then extracted itself from uncharted waters since in his view the apex court had no jurisdiction in the case and the same cannot be bestowed upon it by any of the parties.

When Naeem Bokhari was invited by the court to present his party’s stance, he started by quoting from a book Testaments of Faith, authored by A.K. Brohi, in which the prominent lawyer wrote: “Man lives in the womb of times but history judges us all.”

Mr Bokhari then recalled that to-date the Pakistan Peoples Party held the hanging of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as a judicial assassination. Former chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah in his dissenting note against the restoration of Nawaz Sharif’s first government had also held that two prime ministers from Sindh had been sacrificed but when it came to Punjab the trend changed, he added.

“We believe that we have made out our case but if the Supreme Court comes to the conclusion that we have not, so be it,” Mr Bokhari emphasised.

“I am disappointed with the reply,” Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed in his prompt response.

Not surprisingly, the prime minister’s counsel Salman Aslam Butt assured the court that they would follow whatever decision the court reached but reiterated that nothing had been brought on record, directly or indirectly, against the prime minister.

Senior counsel Akram Sheikh — representing the three children of the prime minister Maryam, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz — said the respondents would stand to the court’s order although they were of the strong view that this case should be rejected as no case had been made out.

He deplored that the court proceedings had been turned into a media trial and there had been a lot of scandalisation against the prime minister who had extended maximum cooperation but being the chief executive he also deserved to be respected in return.

Sheikh Rashid’s view

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid suggested that the court should seek assistance from the registrar of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists but the chief justice explained that when the court invoked its jurisdiction under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, which was not an adversarial litigation, then there was heavy responsibility on its shoulders.

Can the court sentence someone on mere allegations that where the money came from and where it was spent, the chief justice said, adding they had proposed the formation of the commission so that in future no one can make a complaint that he was not given full opportunity to prove his case.

The court appreciated that full trust had been reposed in it but said it was bound by law which it had to follow.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa highlighted the practical difficulty after the retirement of the chief justice alongside reminding that winter vacation would begin after Dec 15 and while the judges would continue to work they would be doing so in their hometowns. Therefore it would be better to adjourn the proceedings to the first week of January.

Justice Amir Hani Muslim said that another important case had to be decided by Dec 14.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2016

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Comments (84) Closed



majid Dec 10, 2016 07:33am

Now IK must be regretting his decision to call off the lock down

Muhammad Dec 10, 2016 07:38am

No corruption case against any big politician has ever reached any logical conclusion in Pakistan. Nevertheless I salute IK for bringing this to the limelight. Nation has to wake up. IK alone can't do everything.

Mushtaq Dec 10, 2016 07:45am

Never seen an elite groups has ever been brought to justice.same happening here n this case judges are reluctant to dispance justice.

abdul Dec 10, 2016 07:48am

Being a Pakisatni and legitimate taxpayer I need to know from where our PM made such a huge fortune. I don't believe in dubai and Qatar dilemma.

Gujranwala Dec 10, 2016 07:47am

If one has solid proof then he (Naeem Bukhari) should not be hurried. PTI should fight the case rather threatening the court and try to take favour.

Wasim Malik Dec 10, 2016 07:59am

This is not good at all.

Justice delayed is just denied.

Pakistan must, somehow, tackle this.

All the best from India.

taha Dec 10, 2016 08:02am

Imran you almost made ur case. You have idiots around you. shape up. Get lawayers like Munner Malik.

san Dec 10, 2016 08:12am

This is a high level case and chief justice is just concerned with his annual party. It shows that even chief justice is not taking this case seriously. Judges fear to give decision so they just want to put all pressure on new Chief justice.The one whom against case is going, is the person who will appoint a new Chief justice. Its simple, PM will appoint a person whom they have good relations and at the end they going to win the case. There is no other way. This is a high level case and chief justice is just concerned with his annual party

moona Dec 10, 2016 08:14am

The public doesn't care. The media is wasting its time. IK should think about doing something constructive for once.

Masoud Dec 10, 2016 08:21am

Very much disappointed with the slow pace, the court should have heard the case on day to day basis and decided the issue. Anyway good has to come and bad has to go for bad is destined to perish one day

L. H. Zaidi (London) Dec 10, 2016 08:23am

The show has to start from the beginning, the functioning of the govt will stay on hold.

Salman Dec 10, 2016 08:29am

SC by itself has nullified all hearings, then why did they set up a casino and why they raised the hope of this poor nation? Didn't they knew the CJ will retire in mid December? Even if CJ retires, still the four judges will remain there, so why the hearing had to be nullified?

exclaibur Dec 10, 2016 08:31am

Proves that Justice in Pakistan is not only Blind it is Deaf and Dumb as well

ART KP Dec 10, 2016 08:33am

Its confirmed that no institutions are independent under PMLN mafia. Sorry but Pakistan is not a democracy, its hypocrisy disguised as democracy.

Changez Khan Dec 10, 2016 08:34am

OK Imran Khan start your Dharna please.

a&a Dec 10, 2016 08:40am

@majid Brutally honest, utterly incompetent...

Murtaza Dec 10, 2016 08:43am

@moona maybe you dont bur every Pakistani does as this decides the future of Pakistan

Free thinker Dec 10, 2016 08:49am

Justice delayed is justice denied. We Pakistani people are disappointed by supreme court decision.

Jameel Dec 10, 2016 08:49am

When opposition didn't provide any concrete evidence to prove their allegations, why everyone is expecting that court should give a verdict against NS. Before IK said several times that he will accept what ever the court decides, but now ... that means only decision is fair when it's is in his favor

ModI Sarkar Dec 10, 2016 08:53am

Wow, Nawaz has learnt lots of techniques from India on how to move any key issue to square one and how to do delaying tactics.

ART KP Dec 10, 2016 08:52am

PMLN is a threat to the nations unity.

Nasir Dec 10, 2016 08:55am

It just confirms that "error in apex" needs rectification. In order for Pakistan to become a progressive country justice must prevail at all levels. Elimination of corruption in institutions must be and should be a top priority.

Relativity Dec 10, 2016 09:10am

Sir Sayed Zaid Hamid Zaman was right. People will miss Musharraf for a long time his relative honesty over Zardari and Zardari was better than Nawaz. No one is perfect, stature is all relative.

Sabeeh ahmad Dec 10, 2016 09:11am

@moona IK is doing a constructive work.... trying to prove that NS has got illgotten money.

Ahmed bin Babar Dec 10, 2016 09:23am

This case is of the rich, for the rich and by the rich, they are feeling frustrated only after a couple of weeks. Think about those millions of cases, implicating common man, which alway remain in square one for decades in the lower courts..!

george Dec 10, 2016 09:26am

Guys get a life. This is the Pakistani system. Nothing is going to happen. The whole system has been designed to facilitate corruption. Either accept the situation and get on with your life, or come out on the streets as masses and force a change....

Javed Arshad Dec 10, 2016 09:30am

Our justice system falls short of delivering justice. No choice though we have to work with the system that there is and so should PTI. Boycott is not a good idea. That said we need a protest like the one in Korea from general public for a real change.

Sam Dec 10, 2016 09:30am

Soldiers of Justice want to get out of uncharted waters? Yes history will judge them for sure !!

Shahid Dec 10, 2016 09:30am

This is analogous to the famed 'black hole'. It not only gobbles up but does not let any 'information' escape to the outside world as to what entered the singularity and how. Outsiders may speculate but it does not elicit the trail. Also at the event horizon things go really slow, meaning time dilates. What fell into the BH was known only before it hit the event horizon, the point of no return.

Thani Dec 10, 2016 09:33am

PML-N is proving worse than zardari, altaf and modi combined...

Talha Dec 10, 2016 09:49am

Justice has been delayed till the next year and there is nothing anyone of us can do about it! Justice delayed is justice denied. Seems like we need a 100 years more before we can do anything about corruption. Disappointed.

Mubeen Malik MD Dec 10, 2016 09:50am

This is Pakistan !

Faizan Dec 10, 2016 09:53am

Congrats to Pakistan, your chief justice is more concered for his superannuation than to fight justice. This is what happens when you raise your children just to earn money, instead of working on what they excel at or have passion for. Unless the people of Pakistan change, you can change a million different governments and it will make no difference.

Hassan Dec 10, 2016 10:01am

I wonder on people who are still commenting on success/failure of IK. Dont you realize the amount of money that is allegedly taken away can build hundreds ok quality hospitals like SKMC (Only Rs 4 bn for Peshawar). And we all know who is lieing here but we only care of IK success /failure.

vorshal Dec 10, 2016 10:11am

What a powerful Prime Minister? Everyone wants to take a piece of him!

Zafar Dec 10, 2016 10:20am

We should stop using our courts as political arena. I have never understood Panama Leaks? We all knew that Nawaz Sharif or his family "had" properties in Mayfair, London for years. We never objected to that. But when Sharif family's name came in Panama papers, it became an issue! These leaks have only revealed that these properties are owned by offshore companies of Sharif family. They have revealed nothing new. They have revealed that our polticians waited for something like Panama papers to start their crusade: they had the information all along for years, but did nothing. They should have been proactive or active, not reactive.

sid Dec 10, 2016 10:42am

@Zafar Its perfectly legal to have offshore companies if they have been set-up with legitimate cash and for legitimate purposes. This is what the PM has to prove...

Tribal Dec 10, 2016 10:43am

@Faizan agree

Nikhil Dec 10, 2016 10:58am

pakistan need a leader like modi

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Dec 10, 2016 11:07am

@Nikhil : No we don't. We already have someone similar to him. What we unfortunately need is something similar to French and Iranian revolution because now it has been proved that law is only for the poor in our country.

Mohammad S. Khalid Dec 10, 2016 11:17am

A delayed but fair decision is preferred over a hasty but wrong decision. The Supreme Court must decide on merit...

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Dec 10, 2016 11:24am

Unfortunately now it is established that law is only for the poor in our country. The nation is losing hope in our system. Please learn from previous mistakes and see where we are heading.

imran7haider Dec 10, 2016 11:27am

Yesterday Hearing proved that There is no justice for the rick and powerful people whether person belongs to PTI, PMLN or PPP.

If SC wants to form commission why they formed on first day of hearing now the case is on the deciding moment now they said it is not in our jurisdiction to decide the allegation. Really sorry for those people who thought there will be justice in our system.

Expat Dec 10, 2016 11:35am

corrupt leaders of a corrupt nation! our people only care about their own comfort!

Asim Dec 10, 2016 12:03pm

I feel bad for IK. Wasting his energies on a nation which is not concerned about itself. Nobody in PK cares about their tax money because of illiteracy. People don't have the concept that their had earned money is being eaten by the PMLN and PPP.

IK should take care of himself instead of fighting for the nation that didn't bother to come on roads for their most popular leader ZABhutto in his last times!

Abdullah Saeed Norway Dec 10, 2016 12:20pm

Open case, 8 months, so many hearing, all dark dark day in Pakistan history, law of necessities, we r in third world country, sorry nation are awaiting decision.

Pakistan Dec 10, 2016 12:26pm

@Faizan - You hit the nail on the head.

ad Dec 10, 2016 12:34pm

@Asim - Rome was not built in a day. IK will always be remembered for taking the initiative no matter who comes forward in future as a true reformer of our society.

Dutch Dec 10, 2016 12:47pm

@Expat - It is a corrupt elite mafia holding Pakistanis hostages..

Youth Dec 10, 2016 12:50pm

@Sab Se Pehle Pakistan - "The nation is losing hope"..

On the contrary, anger is building up. Watch out for that !

Sabeeh Ahmad Dec 10, 2016 01:03pm

POLITICIANS WON AGAIN!!! PITY..

M. Malik Dec 10, 2016 01:09pm

I believe it will take a very small event, similar to the ones in Tunisia or Morocco recently, to trigger public outcry and millions taking to the street to rid of the PML-N. All the legal proceedings are a waste of time.

Sami Ullah Swati Dec 10, 2016 01:21pm

I am disappointed . At least once in her 70 years history, stand up and deliver a steady and just decision on this mega corruption scandal.

No wonder this very Pakistan is notorious for "Miss management and Corruption" at all levels.

DAWN READER Dec 10, 2016 01:23pm

@Salman So the whole world and nation was watching a drama and with the new bench now it will become a serial? May God be merciful on this nation.

DAWN READER Dec 10, 2016 01:28pm

@exclaibur and what about Commonsense?

DAWN READER Dec 10, 2016 01:30pm

@ART KP How many others know it?

Zamir Dec 10, 2016 01:58pm

IK stop wasting time on people of Pak

DAWN READER Dec 10, 2016 02:04pm

@ad When the whole nation will start understanding it and act accordingly only then things will start improving.

DAWN READER Dec 10, 2016 02:18pm

@Nikhil Not at all Pakistan needs leader like M. A. JINNAH

DAWN READER Dec 10, 2016 02:22pm

@Expat

True.

Philosopher (from Japan) Dec 10, 2016 02:48pm

Well..well well..does any one remember a so-called thanksgiving day celebrations??

Khanm Dec 10, 2016 02:56pm

Life is a maze...there's always something to do something to anticipate, don't waste it on pointless drama, it's just a small ripple, when you rise above it, you'll see there are plenty more cups of water there, still and calm. someone once told me that. Yes, opposites. And what is the opposite of Time? We don't know yet. So we don't know what Time is either. And so forth. Yeah opposites...when you don't have something you realize it's value or understand it better. Life is truly ironic. You can't understand one thing without experiencing the opposite. It's true. Everything in the universe has an opposite. The most basic particles… The irony of experiencing the opposite to enhance appreciation --go figure!

Sikandar Dec 10, 2016 03:19pm

Very sad,

Shahid Dec 10, 2016 04:10pm

@Thani Actually it is the 'focus' that magnifies one or the other at a given moment in time. Most if not all of your politicians are the same. They are at their best to innovate how best to exploit an opportunity if and when it comes their way. They outdo each other to demonstrate who is netter at his game. Their motto is: 'Babar! beh aish kosh key aalam dobara nest'; exploit and enjoy the moment b/c it may never come again.

Tariq, Lahore Dec 10, 2016 04:20pm

There should nothing more important than the 'future' of our nation!

Umar Dec 10, 2016 04:36pm

@abdul if only people in Pakistan thought the way you do we will be a prosperous nation

Qaisar Dec 10, 2016 04:42pm

My dear fellow countrymen, learn a lesson from South Korean people. How they come out in millions and stayed on the streets till they forced their corrupt president to be impeached and kicked out from the presidency. Please take your future in your hands and do not allow our currupt polilitician to rule on us.

citizen Dec 10, 2016 06:06pm

there was no need of proof as conflicting statements of PM were enough for his disqualification...but alas

citizen Dec 10, 2016 06:17pm

I appreciate IK who is still hoping

Make Pakistan great Dec 10, 2016 08:09pm

@abdul

Financial vultures have descended on this hapless nation to feed on the 'FRUITS'of democracy.

Make Pakistan great Dec 10, 2016 08:21pm

@moona

The public does care. It wants honest rulers.

Make Pakistan great Dec 10, 2016 08:23pm

@sid

It is next to impossible for the PM to prove his innocence. He should resign

J.F Dec 10, 2016 09:50pm

the only thing i can say is, stand with I.K in his campaign against courruption, follow him and do as I.K says, give him more courage and support.

I am not sure if Pakistani realize this but it takes such a crazy level of determination to stand against corrupt leader when half of the nation is deaf and not ready to listen.

I salute IK pray for his health and success it will be a shame if i do not see him as my next P.M and the greatest loss to this nation which i fear this nation will never be able to recover from.

sid Dec 10, 2016 10:11pm

@Make Pakistan great I agree 100%

Dr Riffat Jabeen Dec 10, 2016 10:31pm

PTI will not give up InshaAllah.

Dr Riffat Jabeen Dec 10, 2016 10:32pm

@san absolutely

Dr Riffat Jabeen Dec 10, 2016 10:32pm

Absolutely correct

M.Saeed Dec 10, 2016 10:38pm

Even two 'right turns' make it a U-turn!

mobin Dec 11, 2016 01:19am

@majid definitely not. This was a good move as IK once again gave the courts full opportunity to do justice. If he hadn't done it, you would have said that he should have gone to courts. Anyway, lets stand by our captain and support his next move.

Ahsan Gul Dec 11, 2016 01:25am

A leader or a honest person can point out or inform the public about the government's dishonesty. IK has done that part. Now, college students, traders and public has to demand accountability from the PM. Where are college and university leaders? Bring student and public to on the streets and demand PM's resignation.

Marghoob Siddiqui Dec 11, 2016 01:55am

Chief Justice has to maintain living standard after retirement, he had to educate his children so what if he got some help from PM and adjourned the case? After all Nawaz Shareef is a good businessman.

khanm Dec 11, 2016 11:17am

Where ever there is a will there is a way.. or may be there is a will there are blockades by by the mysterious forces. AND WHAT IS THE MYSTERIOUS FORCE... MONEY, PERKS, PRIVILEGE..No Integrity of any kind... If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything...

Make Pakistan great Dec 12, 2016 11:41am

@Dr Riffat Jabeen

PTI should start working for Election-2018, besides keeping up the pressure on the corrupt elements of JUP-F, MQM(all factions), PPP and PML-N and exposing their misdeeds.

The first thing to do is to get itself better organized at grass root level. PTI lacks this, which did not let him achieve the desired result in 2013.

The next important thing is to circumvent hijacking of the election by unscrupulous parties through rigging of sorts like use of force and outright high handedness by party goons, undue support of the administration to those already in power, tampering of the voters' list through inclusion of bogus names and exclusion from the list of known PTI supporters, and on top of all, collusion by Election Commission staff on election day.

PTI has to work really hard to ensure a win in the next election. Mere jalsas, dharnas and court cases won't do.

Make Pakistan great Dec 12, 2016 01:25pm

@Marghoob Siddiqui

NS may be a good businessman, but will the CJ be remembered for the decision of the five-member bench?