In what could be a major setback for Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Supreme Court on Friday disqualified him as the Prime Minister ingraft case verdict.
The Supreme Court verdict comes as a huge embarrassment for Pakistan. It has also ordered a case against the Prime Minister to be referred to the NAB (National Accountability Bureau).
Sharif was allegedly involved in money laundering to buy assets in London in the 1990s. The 2016 Panama Papers leak revealed that the assets were being managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif’s children.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan was ordered to immediately denotify Nawaz.
Earlier Nawaz Sharif denied wrongdoing and had warned his ouster would destabilise Pakistan at a time when the economy was rebounding after a decade of political and security chaos.
The premier had alleged a conspiracy against him, although he had not named anyone. His allies, however, had privately spoken of elements in the judiciary and the military, with whom PM Nawaz has strained relations, acting against him. The army denied any involvement.
The Supreme Court started reading its verdict at 1130 local time. There was a heavy police and army presence around the court in the hours before the ruling.