Panama Papers Case: Pakistan Supreme Court Orders Investigation on PM Shariff

The Supreme Court agreed a year ago to investigate the Sharif family's offshore wealth after opposition leader Imran Khan threatened street protests following the leaking of the "Panama Papers".

The high court launched an investigation into the offshore wealth of Sharif's family late previous year after The Panama Papers linked them to offshore businesses.

Following mass protests and calls from opposition political groups, a panel was formed in November 2016 to investigate links between Sharif and his children's alleged offshore accounts. Sharif's political opponents doubted the premier's family made assets outside Pakistan through legal means.

The Supreme Court is set to determine Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's fate on Thursday with a ruling on corruption allegations after the Panama Papers linked his family to offshore businesses. It will present its report before the bench after every two weeks and will complete its work in 60 days.

"A thorough investigation is required", Justice Asif Saeed Khosa told the court, announcing the decision.

According to the judgement, Sharif, 67, survived as majority three judges supported the setting up of JIT to further probe the allegations while two other judges wanted to disqualify the prime minister.

It erupted with the publication of 11.5 million secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca previous year which documented the offshore dealings of numerous world's rich and powerful.

But for now, Sharif and his ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, are celebrating.

Khan's party could yet fail to capitalise on the investigation, he said - meanwhile, Sharif's party no longer faces a leadership crisis.

Pakistan's stock market rose almost 250 points on Thursday, after having closed up 1.6 percent the previous day, showing investors are confident the court will not rule Sharif ineligible to be prime minister.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is still standing.

Naseem said with three of the institutions involved in the joint investigation under Sharif's control, a decision against him was unlikely. The top court had held Gilani in contempt for refusing to re-open corruption investigations into then President Asif Ali Zardari, resulting in his disqualification.

Musharraf said that Nawaz Sharif has lost all his moral authority to remain at the highest office of executive and he should resign from the office immediately.

The decision which was reserved by the Supreme Court regarding the Panama Papers on February 23, is due to be announced tomorrow.

At the same time Imran Khan's PTI party, which has lead the corruption allegations, will hope to keep the case in the headlines ahead of elections due to take place next year.

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