Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday filed three separate appeals in the Supreme Court to review its verdict in the Panama Papers case that resulted in his disqualification.
A five-member Supreme Court bench last month disqualified Sharif for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children over the Panama Papers scandal, forcing the prime minister to quit. Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Harris filed the three review appeals, in reply to the petitions filed by Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and Sirjul Haq, in the Lahore registry of the apex court.
The decision to file the appeal against the verdict was taken before 67-year-old Sharif’s road journey from Islamabad to Lahore but the legal team took time to prepare the case. Harris also submitted relevant documents concerning the iqama — a United Arab Emirates work visa — that led the judges to declare Sharif “unfit to hold office”, Dawn reported.
Sharif has argued that the July 28 decision should have been given by a three-member bench since Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed’s jurisdiction had expired after their dissenting judgement on April 20, the paper said.
“By signing the the final order of the court” on July 28, Justice Ahmed and Justice Khosa “have actually passed two judgments in the same case, which is unprecedented in judicial history,” reads the appeal petition, according to the paper.
Sharif also chaired a meeting of party leaders at his Raiwind estate in Lahore to prepare a strategy for his campaign to contact the masses over his disqualification. The meeting was attended by Hamza Shahbaz, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, among others.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq told the media after the meeting that he still considers “Sharif his prime minister.” Sadiq said that Sharif will fight for his rights but he will not create any tension between the national institutions. Sharif’s plan is to go to the public and garner support for his plan to bring changes in the country for “sanctity of the vote”, the speaker added.
The ousted prime minister has repeatedly said that he will strive hard to replace Pakistan’s old and “flawed” system with a new law which will put an end to the unceremonious ouster of the prime ministers. He also seeks accountability from military dictators and judges who he said have been sending prime ministers packing home in the last 70 years.