KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday demanded immediate resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of Panama Papers case judgement after two senior judges of the apex court declared that he was neither truthful nor honest, while other judges on the bench didn’t object to this observation.
The prime minister should be de-notified from public office, as he has lost the moral authority to lead the nation.
The demands were made through a motion tabled by Senior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmad Khuhro with joint signature of Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro. When Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani put the motion to the house after a dozen speeches across the aisle, it was passed unanimously.
On the same subject, the house also carried a resolution submitted by lawmaker Khurram Sherzaman and read out by Samar Ali Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. The resolution pointed out that none of the judges in majority or minority gave the prime minister a clean chit. “This house strongly believes that Mian Mohammad Sharif has lost the moral authority to continue as Prime Minister of Pakistan and in the greater national interest, he should resign immediately.”
Referring to the prime minister’s speech in the National Assembly, his address to the nation, and the statement recorded in the Supreme Court, Mr Khuhro said the stance of the prime minister kept on changing though it was known to all as to who owned the flats in London.
However, MQM parliamentary party leader Syed Sardar Ahmad termed the issue sub judice pointing out that this was not the judgement; rather, the two judges had written their note of dissent, while the bench was yet to decide the case in the light of the report to be submitted by the joint investigation team.
He referred to the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in which three judges had written the note of dissent against the opinion of four judges yet the dissenting remarks were not be taken as judgement, because the opinion of the majority was the judgement.
Former chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said the motion tabled in the house pointed out that the two judges had clearly notified that the prime minister was not “Sadiq and Ameen” while the three other judges had neither acquitted him nor stopped the implementation of the judgement until the JIT report. He said the prime minister ought to resign and present himself as a common citizen before the JIT.
Addressing MQM lawmakers, Mr Shah said he would speak in detail about the services rendered by PPP government in Karachi some other time. His was against corruption and also made laws to check corruption, he said. However, he asked what MQM’s contribution was with regard to elimination of corruption during their rule.
Leader of the Opposition and MQM senior lawmaker Khwaja Izharul Hassan said the Supreme Court would itself supervise the JIT investigation. He said it would have been more appropriate if the motion also demanded action against all those who were allegedly involved in money laundering and corruption. He said a JIT should also be constituted at the provincial level to interrogate all those involved in corruption.
After adoption of the PTI resolution, the chair called it a day to reassemble on Monday at 2pm.
Earlier, PPP lawmaker Taimur Talpur said it was a matter of shame that even after being declared incompetent by two SC justices the prime minister had not resigned from office. Had there been a case involving Yousuf Raza Gilani or any other prime minister belonging to the PPP, would there still be the same decision?, he asked.
Jam Khan Shoro questioned when the court could not decide the case and sought a report from the JIT, how the people could expect that the JIT comprising officials working under the interior minister would decide the matter.
PML-F lawmaker Mehtab Akbar Rashdi said she did not agree with the point of view that the case was still in the apex court and a sub judice matter. She said the judgement was pronounced and could be talked about. It was a cause of concern that those who prosecuted and those who were prosecuted were celebrating victory, she added.
MQM lawmaker Sabir Qaimkhani called for introspection citing that the person who was raising fingers on others was also a ‘thief’ like the one who had been singled out.
Mr Sherzaman of the PTI paid tribute to his party leader for ‘exposing’ the prime minister.
Deputy Speaker Syeda Shehla Raza said one prime minister was sent home only for not writing a letter against the then president of Pakistan. But the prime minister, who has been facing such a major charge, never appeared in court, she said, asking if his children would appear before the JIT.
Manzoor Wassan said all the judges were of the same opinion as two of them openly declared that he was not honest and truthful while the others did not disagree.
Earlier, the house adopted an amendment to the Pir Abdul Qadir Shah Jeelani Institute of Medical Sciences, Gambat, Bill 2017 and disposed of five call attention notices.
Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2017