Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, after the Supreme Court ruling on the Panamagate case, urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign for the duration of an investigation into how the Sharif family's money was transferred to Qatar.
"I demand Nawaz Sharif resign... Until the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) completes its probe," Khan said.
"If you're cleared within 60 days, you can return," Khan said.
The PTI chairman congratulated the nation on the "historic" ruling. "This has never happened in the history of Pakistan."
The Supreme Court verdict was split 3-2 among a five-judge bench, with two dissenting notes in the judgement by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed. The two judges ruled against PM Nawaz Sharif, saying he should be disqualified, whereas the other three were in favour of forming a JIT.
"All five judges have decided that whatever Nawaz Sharif said, it has been rejected. The money trail, the sources of income ─ everything is in front of the nation... In other words, it has been declared a falsehood."
"The two most senior judges said to disqualify the PM," Khan said.
However, "they [the PML-N] are giving out mithai over the fact that two judges have said he is dishonest."
"Five judges have dismissed their defence – is this what you are celebrating?" Khan asked the ruling party.
PPP calls for PM's resignation: 'Real face of Nawaz not sharif'
"Nawaz Sharif should hand in his resignation," former president Asif Ali Zardari said while addressing a press conference. "I condemn the [court's] decision," he asserted.
"Mian sahab you have failed. You cannot run the government. Give someone else a chance to run the government," he said.
"A decision which the Supreme Court could not make, how will the Grade-19 officers under the PM decide the case?" he asked.
"They have no concerns except their own enjoyment," the PPP co-chairman said of the PML-N.
"Why are they distributing sweets? Because two senior judges said you [PM Nawaz Sharif] should be disqualified? Is this why you are eating mithai?" he asked.
"You have deceived the nation," Zardari said.
"Imran Khan, we told you to join us and form legislation and then take it to the court," he said. "But he [Khan] does not listen. He has never been to jail, he does not know how judges work, how justice works."
"We believe that if Pakistan is not safe in the hands of Nawaz Sharif, it is also not safe in the hands of Imran Khan," the former president, whose own party is gunning for a victory in the next election, said.
"I am disappointed by Imran Khan leaving us and going to the SC alone. If Aitzaz Ahsan stood there and argued against them [the Sharif family], then the decision might have been different."
"We will see what other political forces decide, and the people's decision will also guide us," he added.
"I think it is evident now to the nation that Nawaz's real face is not sharif," Zardari said.
PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan termed the dissenting notes "heavier than the decision of the other three judges."
"The two judges have declared the PM is disqualified. The decision of these two judges is the Supreme Court's decision," Ahsan said.
Formation of JIT
The bench raised questions regarding the money trail for the Sharif family's Gulf steel mill and ordered the JIT to investigate the letter from a Qatari royal ─ dismissed today by the bench ─ which was submitted by Sharif's lawyer as evidence in the case.
The JIT is to include officials NAB, FIA, State Bank of Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, the bench said, and will be led by a director-general level FIA officer.
The names of members of the JIT must be announced within seven days, and a probe report must be released within 60 days. The JIT must report its progress to the court on a weekly basis.
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