PTI to wait for SC verdict before pressuring Sharif to quit

Why Nawaz Sharif has become a target?

Pakistan PM's daughter, heir apparent in corruption probe crosshairs

Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the main opposition party and petitioner against Sharif in the Panama Papers case, wants dissolution of the National Assembly, hoping that Sharif 's conviction will help it in politically damaging the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in early general elections.

The Pakistan Supreme Court will hear responses of all the parties on the Panamagate Joint investigation team's (JIT) report. During Monday's hearing, the lawyers for petitioners requested the court to summon PM Sharif for cross examination, disqualify him from parliament and send cases against him and his family to an accountability court. The party leaders and spokespersons were also briefed about the stance on Panama case.

Sharif has denied any wrongdoing after the JIT's report alleged his family's vast wealth was beyond their means, and accused his children, including daughter Maryam Nawaz, of signing forged documents to obscure the ownership of four posh London flats. They have described the investigation as an attempt to derail the democratic process and claim Sharif has been punished for both making Pakistan a nuclear power and for starting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is expected to bring over $US50 billion investment in Pakistan. Marriyum said that the court is not bound to accept the recommendations of the JIT report. Sharif claims that the report looks at his family's decades-old private businesses, and makes allegations without any proof of financial scandal or corruption in his current or past tenures. But the JIT found that the document was printed in Calibri font, which Microsoft had not released for public use until 2007.

Finance minister Ishaq Dar ordered an inquiry to investigate the depreciation of the rupee.

"The JIT report is not only against the law but also the constitution of the country and its finding are, therefore, of not legal value", he said.

On 10 July, after two months of investigations, the JIT declared in its report that the respondents (who included the PM, his two sons and daughter) failed to document income streams and to provide information that could explain how they acquired various assets.

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Joining in conversation, Daniyal Aziz also blamed the JIT for overlooking significant facts in the report while reiterating that it is not the final verdict.

The report consists of the statements of Prime Minister Sharif, his brother and Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif; his children Hussain, Hassan and Maryam Sharif and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar.

Now, the entire Pakistani opposition is vying for Nawaz's head, who has refused to step down by saying that only the people had the mandate to remove him.

The senior government source said NAB investigations tend to last many years - Sharif has an active case against him dating back to 1999 - and NAB's conviction rates were notoriously low. But Nawaz was candid when he spoke to the media after appearing before the JIT- the first elected leader in Pakistan to do so - that his family had been in business and industry for three generations and what the JIT was probing allegations of graft against the family not the misuse of government funds. After winning the elections again in 2013, Sharif sought to reach out to the army, although it is believed that despite his efforts, the civilian government and the military in Pakistan do not share a particularly close relationship.

"The entire country knows the JIT's findings...we are not bound by them", he remarked during the arguments submitted by the counsel for the JI."The counsel has to tell us as to why we should implement the findings", he said, adding, "Tell us to what extent we can implement the suggestions of the JIT".

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