Panama leaks: The battle of power

Panama leaks: The battle of power


Panama Leaks that has brought various leaders of the world in trouble by having their colleagues’ names in the list compelled them to resign, has had a similar effect here in Pakistan as it has brought Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif into misery as well, mainly for his children’s names in the leaks.

In Pakistan, people who wanted to send PM to home through anarchy and sit-ins have been given a huge opportunity to criticise the PM. Opposition parties highly criticised PM's family in all that scenario. PM tried to give justifications about Panama Leaks in assembly but failed.

Earlier, the political parties attempted to resolve Panama Leaks with mutual understanding but remained unsuccessful.

Political parties were deliberating and a few opposition members filed an application about PM’s address to National Assembly in the Supreme Court asking him be declared ineligible for PM on moral grounds as per the constitution of Pakistan. After this petition was admitted for hearing, the Supreme Court constituted a bench of 5 judges namely Justice Asif Khan Khosa, Justice Aijaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Aijaz ul Hasan who heard arguments of both parties. The apex court heard this case 36 times in 126 days in that PM and his children’s advocates and opposing counsels gave their arguments. After hearing all arguments, the apex court had reserved the verdict on 23 February 2017 which was then announced 57 days later, on 20 April, and comprised 570 pages. The decision of the bench was that the Prime Minister and his children remained unsuccessful to satisfy the bench andthat further investigation is required in this regard. 2 out of 5 judges decided PM is ineligible for his office on moral grounds according to Article 62, 63 of the constitution. The bench concluded that more investigation was needed before a judgement could be made.

On 5 May 2017, A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of 5 members from key institutions was formed to investigate the scandal and was to submit its findings within 60 days.

The JIT, headed by Additional Director FIA Wajid Zia, comprised SECP Director Bilal Rasool, NAB Director Irfan Mangi, ISI’s Brig Noman Saeed, MI’s Brig Kamran Khursheed, and Amir Aziz of SBP.

In these 2 months of JIT, its favourism was also questioned. Despite attacks from the government side, JIT continued its work. The JIT ordered the PM, his children Hussain, Hassan and Maryam to appear before the JIT and respond to their questions.

The JIT submitted its report after the said 60 days. No one know what this would mean for the PM and his family as the Supreme Court is yet to rule on it. Regardless of the outcome, one might wonder what does this mean for future of the country?

It would be unfair to public if the verdict was painted as " public's victory" because Panama Case is a war of rule, not of accountability. Did opposition parties including PTI and PPP do any legislation to stop corruption after Panama revelations? Have four people other than PM family named in Panama leaks brought to a similar level of scrutiny?

For God’s sake, whatever the decision, do not play with public emotions anymore. Instead of declaring it Pakistan’s or Public's victory, accept the reality that Panama leaks is nothing more than a "tug of war" for rule due the arrogant leaders who neglect national interest for their own selves.