Archives for April 2017

Nawaz Sharif, Panama Case and Supreme Court


What would be the decision by the Supreme Court.

We don’t know.

What we know is Supreme Court of Pakistan has never given any verdict against Nawaz Sharif. This is a matter of fact. Is this time going to be different. Yes, it may be a little different. Not because the judiciary is more independent but people know more than what is presented to the Bench. Credit goes to Imran Khan and TV media channels

You have watched a lot of TV programs and analysis of so called self appointed senior analysts including who are on the payroll of Nawaz Sharif. So it is not the time to go back to argue on the proceedings of the case or the analysis of analysts or experts.

Here is what we think how the decision may look like.

In few hours time decision of the Panama Case will be announced by the Supreme Court so instead of going into details let us be objective and go straight to the point.

There are three petitioners in the Panama Case.

Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf
Sirajul Haq, Jama’at Islami
Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed, Awami Muslim League

The four defendants from Sharif family are Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Mariam Nawaz (or Mariam Safdar) and Nawaz Sharif himself.

Let us go one by one about their submissions. Simplest to more comprehensive.

Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed’s plea is very simple and straight forward. He prayed that Nawaz Sharif’s statements made on the TV while addressing two times to nation explaining the trail of money to buy London flats do not match with what he said in the Parliament. On top of that his lawyers in the Supreme Court said they don’t have any record of money transfer to purchase the flats in London other than two letters from Qatari prince. That is the proof Nawaz Sharif lied to the nation, lied in the Parliament and hide the truth in front of the court, Shaikh Rasheed stated. Therefore, Nawaz Sharif should be disqualified for the membership of the Parliament under Article 62 and 63. Hence will be removed from the prime ministership.  Shaikh Rasheed submitted a list of 22 national assembly members who were disqualified on the basis of lying and dishonesty, Article 62 and 63.

What Supreme Court can decide on this point. 

Option 1. Supreme Court can agree with Shaikh Rasheed’s arguments and declare that yes Nawaz Sharif lied and hide the facts from Supreme Court. If that verdict is given. That will be a major blow to Nawaz Sharif’s position. And that will be deviation from the previous practice of Supreme Court supporting Nawaz Sharif.

Option 2. Supreme Court does not say clearly that Nazwaz Sharif lied for his face saving purpose and suggest there are discrepancies in his statements and other evidence provided by the defendant therefore Court suggests that Nawaz Sahrif should resign and stay away until the Commission completes his investigation. This will be less harsh verdict and give some ammunition to PMLN’s GGBrigde (members of the party who uses very abusive language. They collect the salary from public funds but personally serve their master).

Option 3. is that Supreme Court does not do anything and throw the monkey on Commission’s shoulder. There is least chance of taking this option by the Supreme Court.

Sirajul Haq’s petition is that action should be taken against all the people who’s names have appeared in the Panama Papers, loan defaulters, money launderers and involved in corruption should be punished.

What Supreme Court can decide on this point.

This requires investigation therefore chances are Supreme Court will announce to form a commission and hand over all these issues to this commission. Easy way out.

Imran Khan’s petition is the most comprehensive on allegations against Nawaz Sharif for corruption, money laundering, lying and dishonesty.

What Supreme Court can decide on this point.

Actually this case is a bigger problem for the Supreme Court than for Nawaz Sharif. The reason is TV media particularly ARY channel and others has provided documentary evidence of money laundering, corruption and dishonesty of Nawaz Sahrif that people have no doubt about the allegations raised by Imran Khan are true and factual. If the Supreme Court do not care about these evidences then Supreme Court will lose its credibility so they will take middle of the road option.

Justice Azmat Saeed Khosa once said they will make the decision according to constitution and laws. He did not say they will make the decision on the basis of justice. So hanging of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was according to law but not according to justice. Supreme Court find explanations to support their decisions when they want to favor any party.

The Bench will pacify the public by either enforcing Article 62 and 63 on Nawaz Sharif directly or suggesting him to leave his position as prime minister till the inquiry is complete. That will be a polite way saying him to resign. For rest of the matters they will be handed over to Commission. History of Commissions in Pakistan is not very commendable. Nawaz Sahrif will be satisfied because he may have some leverage to manipulate the commission members.

As usual there will be lot of bhashan in the decision report but that will be just fillers will not have much effect on the politics or corruption, malpractices and bad governance of the government. If you recall Anwar Zahir Jamali criticized the government that Pakistan has become a kingdom and talked about corruption but he did not send even a single person to jail. Nasirul Mulik gave the verdict the 2013 elections were fair and there was no rigging.

What will be Nawaz Sharif’s strategy after the decision.

If the Bench takes Option 1 or 2 (Shailkh Rasheed’s petition) then Nawaz Sharif will have to leave the position of prime minister. Some time back there was a talk that PMLN is looking for a replacement. Right now the decision seems to be first resists (even use violence) the implementation of Supreme Court decision then finally announce the new election. Chances are the decision report will suggest a lot of over hauling of different institutions of the country but Nawaz Sharif government will be least interested in doing that. In spite of the dent Imran Khan has made on the political position of Nawaz Sharif the elections system in Pakistan is so corrupt that Nawaz Sharif will prefer to go to elections with out any election reforms.

All in all we do not see much coming out of the Panama Case verdict other than smoke and very little meat, if any.