The Supreme Court has delivered the final judgment in the Panama Leaks case. The Court has disqualified PM Nawaz Sharif by a majority of 5-0. Nawaz Sharif stands disqualified and the matter against him and his children, Ishaq Dar, and Cap (r) Safdar, has been sent to NAB in the light of JIT report presented before the SC on July 10. NAB has been directed to file reference within six weeks and a one-member bench of the Supreme Court shall monitor the proceedings of the accountability court. The accountability court shall be bound to decide the matters in six months’ time. This case established many firsts: first, the petition bringing the Panama case to the Supreme Court was declared non-maintainable and later admitted for a hearing; second, a JIT was constituted which included the members from Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) — institutions that should have no connection with the matter at hand; a three member implementation bench heard the arguments on the JIT report and then, the original five-member bench was revived. Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified by the Supreme Court on the basis of failure to disclose that he was Chairman of Capital FZE, Jebel Ali, UAE. Nawaz Sharif’s lawyers contended in the Court that he never withdrew salary as chairman of the company. According to the court, after the discovery of the non-disclosure of assets, Nawaz Sharif is no more honest in terms of Representation of People Act 1976 and Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution of Pakistan. The Supreme Court disregarded the PM’s submission that he had told his son, Hussain Nawaz, before 2013 about his intention not to receive salary from the FZE Company and hence there was no salary payable to him. Will PM’s disqualification strengthen the accountability system of the country? Is it obvious? No. Because, the disqualification decision has been made on a technical ground. The opposition built a narrative that corruption will be eradicated if Nawaz Sharif could be ousted from politics. But the JIT report could not bring any evidence to link the accumulation of assets to the misuse of authority or misappropriation of public funds by Nawaz Sharif and his family members who held public offices. It will be an oversimplification to reduce the accountability process to the accountability of one person. Did the ouster of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani by the verdict of Supreme Court help initiate the accountability of the then president? It requires overhauling of laws, processes, and structures of our state and society that are designed to favour the rich and the privileged, and whose beneficiaries are in all political parties without any exception. Over the past four years, despite projecting its image of a formidable opposition, the PTI lawmakers did not introduce a single bill aimed at institutional reform for discussion in the parliament. For most of the parliamentary term, they remained either outside parliament or indifferent to the legislative business. Take the example of accountability system of KP government led by PTI. In November 2013, five months after the formation of the provincial government, two ministers of KP cabinet belonging to Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) were removed allegedly for graft and PTI pulled out of an alliance with QWP. No case was registered against the ministers and a couple of years later, in October 2015, QWP was again wooed back by PTI into the alliance. The judicial ouster of the PM will only create a false impression of accountability unless two conditions are met: one, the same standards of scrutiny are applied to the Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen cases pending before the Supreme Court; two, the matter of corruption is means holding all institutions accountable The judicial ouster of PM will only create a false impression of accountability unless two conditions are met: one, the same standards of scrutiny are applied to Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen cases pending with the Supreme Court; two, the matter of corruption is taken to its logical conclusion by holding all institutions accountable. The institution of judiciary found its new power in the wake of the lawyers’ movement of 2007 and asserted itself on a number of occasions. The Supreme Court also controversially expanded its jurisdiction under Article 184 (3) of the constitution. But judiciary has not taken steps to clean its Augean stables. A judge of Supreme Court, Justice (r) Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman, resigned after the SC annulled appointments made during his tenure at Islamabad High Court (IHC). Later, Justice (r) Mazahir Iqbal Sindhu of Lahore High Court resigned ahead of the probe proceedings of Supreme Judicial Council. After resignation, have those judges been prosecuted for misuse of authority or corruption? Another sitting judge of the Lahore High Court has been accused in the Panama Papers of owning an offshore company. Likewise, the institution of army always claims special entitlements and never presents itself for accountability before ordinary courts. An essential ingredient of rule of law is the existence of same law for everybody howsoever low or howsoever high in rank. In 2016, at first, the news of dismissal of twelve army officers over corruption charges was aired but, ultimately, the sacking of six officers including one Lieutenant General was confirmed. The details of the precise nature of charges against them, the nature of proceedings against them remained unclear. Therefore, the process of accountability should be taken to its logical conclusion by stripping all institutions of their ‘holy cow’ status as the decisions of selective accountability will give no relief to the citizens. The writer is a Rhodes Scholar and holds the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) from University of Oxford Published in Daily Times, July 29th , 2017.