LAHORE - The PML-N and its coalition partners always insisted that the Supreme Court will not disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panamagate case as in their opinion evidence is not there to prove allegations against him.

On the other hand, the PTI, the PPP and some other opposition parties have been claiming equally vehemently that the premier will be disqualified because of the “strong evidence” against him and the weak legal arguments presented by the defence counsel.

There were many others who were of the view that the apex court could order further investigations as a decision against the prime minister was not possible without getting answers to various questions.

All three opinions find support in the split verdict announced yesterday.

The judgment provides justification to the ruling party as well as the opposition to claim victory of their respective stands. And this is what they will do in weeks and months ahead.

And while a judge had recently claimed that the verdict would be remembered for 20 years, in fact it would be remembered for centuries. It’s not a small thing that the bench has given justice without causing the heavens to fall.

For the past several weeks the common man was saying that it would be a split decision in favour of the prime minister and that an investigation body would be constituted to probe the matter.

As a Pakistani the writer feels proud that an ordinary person is now enlightened enough to assess what the apex court is likely to do. And the credit for creating this awareness goes to the rulers who are known for transparency in all matters.

Let’s now try to examine what the proposed JIT will deliver.

Three judges say there is need for the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe how the Sharif family’s money was transferred to Qatar. These judges think that at present evidence is insufficient to remove the prime minister.

The JIT has been given two months to complete the probe into the premier and his sons Hussain and Hasan, all of whom have also been directed to appear before the JIT. The investigators will present bi-weekly reports to a special bench of the Supreme Court.

The JIT will be constituted within seven days and would include representatives from the ISI, MI, FIA, SECP, State Bank and NAB.

Everybody remembers that the Supreme Court had asked NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry if he would reopen the case of Hudaibiya Paper Mills (belonging to the ruling family). The answer was a big NO.

The reasons for his refusal are known only to the NAB chief.

And now somebody to be nominated by him has to investigate the prime minister and his sons. Is it believable?

Similarly, will the officials of the FIA, SBP, SECP dare do anything against the prime minister and his sons?

Will the PM and his sons appear before the JIT or the JIT will appear before them?

Who doesn’t know that Mian Nawaz Sharif is the most powerful prime minister of the country and he has the record of taking on the presidents, the army chiefs and even the judiciary.

Maybe the apex court has “convincing evidence” that the JIT officials will be able to investigate the matter they have been assigned.

The court may also be knowing that the government has yet to take action against those responsible for what are called Dawnleaks.

After various corps commanders conference it was stated that the military leadership expressed “serious concern” over the issue and expressed their resolve to take the matter to its logical conclusion. And the logical conclusion has yet to come after six months.

The point is that the rulers are quite capable of managing things. If they did not take action against those who had breached national security, how can it be expected that they will present themselves to the would-be investigators?

It is also common knowledge that an inquiry against the prime minister is still pending for years with the FIA despite the apex court’s orders.

The allegation was that Nawaz Sharif, like several other politicians, had received funds from the ISI to defeat Benazir Bhutto in the 1990 elections.

During the PPP’s 2008-13 rule, the Supreme Court ordered an inquiry against the prime minister. It has not even been started because some military leaders are also required to be investigated.

If the JIT at all started investigations on the Panama issue, nobody knows how long will take the relevant institutions to take the matter to its logical conclusion. Till then, opposition parties will continue to call on the prime minister to step down. The ruling party’s spokesmen and other supporters will keep hitting out at their rivals and thus the circus will go on.

The political temperature will stay high in the months ahead.

From page 1

All three opinions find support in the split verdict announced yesterday.

The judgment provides justification to the ruling party as well as the opposition to claim victory of their respective stands. And this is what they will do in weeks and months ahead.

And while a judge had recently claimed that the verdict would be remembered for 20 years, in fact it would be remembered for centuries. It’s not a small thing that the bench has given justice without causing the heavens to fall.

For the past several weeks the common man was saying that it would be a split decision in favour of the prime minister and that an investigation body would be constituted to probe the matter.

As a Pakistani the writer feels proud that an ordinary person is now enlightened enough to assess what the apex court is likely to do. And the credit for creating this awareness goes to the rulers who are known for transparency in all matters.

Let’s now try to examine what the proposed JIT will deliver.

Three judges say there is need for the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe how the Sharif family’s money was transferred to Qatar. These judges think that at present evidence is insufficient to remove the prime minister.

The JIT has been given two months to complete the probe into the premier and his sons Hussain and Hasan, all of whom have also been directed to appear before the JIT. The investigators will present bi-weekly reports to a special bench of the Supreme Court.

The JIT will be constituted within seven days and would include representatives from the ISI, MI, FIA, SECP, State Bank and NAB. Everybody remembers that the Supreme Court had asked NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry if he would reopen the case of Hudaibiya Paper Mills (belonging to the ruling family). The answer was a big NO.

The reasons for his refusal are known only to the NAB chief.

And now somebody to be nominated by him has to investigate the prime minister and his sons. Is it believable?

Similarly, will the officials of the FIA, SBP, SECP dare do anything against the prime minister and his sons?

Will the PM and his sons appear before the JIT or the JIT will appear before them?

Who doesn’t know that Mian Nawaz Sharif is the most powerful prime minister of the country and he has the record of taking on the presidents, the army chiefs and even the judiciary.

Maybe the apex court has “convincing evidence” that the JIT officials will be able to investigate the matter they have been assigned.

The court may also be knowing that the government has yet to take action against those responsible for what are called Dawnleaks. After various corps commanders conference it was stated that the military leadership expressed “serious concern” over the issue and expressed their resolve to take the matter to its logical conclusion. And the logical conclusion has yet to come after six months.

The point is that the rulers are quite capable of managing things. If they did not take action against those who had breached national security, how can it be expected that they will present themselves to the would-be investigators?

It is also common knowledge that an inquiry against the prime minister is still pending for years with the FIA despite the apex court’s orders.

The allegation was that Nawaz Sharif, like several other politicians, had received funds from the ISI to defeat Benazir Bhutto in the 1990 elections.

During the PPP’s 2008-13 rule, the Supreme Court ordered an inquiry against the prime minister. It has not even been started because some military leaders are also required to be investigated.

If the JIT at all started investigations on the Panama issue, nobody knows how long will take the relevant institutions to take the matter to its logical conclusion. Till then, opposition parties will continue to call on the prime minister to step down. The ruling party’s spokesmen and other supporters will keep hitting out at their rivals and thus the circus will go on.

The political temperature will stay high in the months ahead.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 21-Apr-2017 here.