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Jawad Falak |

The Supreme Court on Friday unanimously disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from his post after an investigative panel alleged his family’s wealth was far above their earnings in a scathing corruption report. The apex court has ordered NAB to complete investigation in Panama gate case within six weeks. The judges reserved that the premier had been dishonest to Parliament and the courts, hence could not continue in office.

Read more: Nawaz ousted: a word from the youth

The first verdict was a result of a long drawn out battle between the N League and its allies and the opposition party, the PTI who had launched the case after the Panama leaks. While the PTI was not the main opposition party it was largely abandoned by others such as the PPP and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan was ordered to immediately de-notify Nawaz. SC judges arrived in court room 1 after a brief consultation in the chambers, while a large number of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz workers converged outside the SC. The legal proceedings against Sharif have captivated the country, where politicians are seldom subjected to the kind of scrutiny undergone by the premier.

Primarily the case can be seen as a two-dimensional war, one was between the political parties representing the old and the New order and the battle between city politicians and institutions. The first verdict was a result of a long drawn out battle between the N League and its allies and the opposition party, the PTI who had launched the case after the Panama leaks. While the PTI was not the main opposition party it was largely abandoned by others such as the PPP and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

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It was towards the culmination of the case that the other opposition parties tried to cash in but by that time the PTI had become the main face of the campaign against a corrupt premier. The case had become a battle for the future of Pakistan between the PML(N) and PTI with the spoils going to the victor. And now as the verdict goes against the N League, it is apparent that the famous PTI slogan Go Nawaz Go has become a fulfilled prophecy.

As it was the highest court in the land, there is no possibility of an appeal but there is a way of review but as a full bench gave the verdict, there is a very dim prospect. The second dimension was a tug of war between the city politicians and the institutions, traditionally the institutions had largely been a victim of the depredations of civil and military dictators.

The PTI has emerged victorious and the N League has the greatest possibility of disintegrating as the main axis of the N league, the House of Nawaz stands disqualified. Already the PML(N) has been riven by internal factions with the Nawaz group ruling the highest tier with Chaudry Nisar group, Shahbaz Sharif group, Khwaja Asif group as other significant factions. With the Nawaz group all but destroyed it is yet to be seen who rises to the top especially after the exit of Chaudhary Nisar from the N League.

As it was the highest court in the land, there is no possibility of an appeal but there is a way of review but as a full bench gave the verdict, there is a very dim prospect. The second dimension was a tug of war between the politicians and the institutions, traditionally the institutions had largely been a victim of the depredations of civil and military dictators. The latest examples were the exposing of the tampering of records by financial regulatory agency SECP for the benefit of the ruling elite and the shadowy campaign by certain circles to portray the anti-corruption case as a “coup by the establishment.”

The disqualification of Nawaz Sharif after an intense investigation by the JIT consisting of serving bureaucrats has greatly helped in paving the way for institutional supremacy and stronger accountability. In the battle between institutions and personalities, the institutions have become on top.

The interference by both civil and military forces in the institutions had led them to become extremely weak and susceptible to pressure. However, the judiciary movement that started in 2005 opened a path of resurgence for the institutions starting with the judiciary. The rejuvenated Judiciary already disqualified a sitting Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani in 2012 on charges of corruption with the second one being Nawaz Sharif.

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The Judiciary through its judges has emerged as an independent force capable of bringing the most powerful of the land to the task. They have also helped to pinpoint weaknesses in various agencies such as the FIA, NAB, and others which will be beneficial in the process of strengthening institutions of the state. The disqualification of Nawaz Sharif after an intense investigation by the JIT consisting of serving bureaucrats has greatly helped in paving the way for institutional supremacy and stronger accountability. In the battle between institutions and personalities, the institutions have come on top.

Jawad Falak is a Research Associate at Center for Strategic and Contemporary Research, Islamabad. He is an M.Phil scholar at National Defence University, Islamabad and writes on events taking shape in the South Asian region. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

Jawad Falak is a Research Associate at Center for Strategic and Contemporary Research, Islamabad. He is an M.Phil scholar at National Defence University, Islamabad and writes on events taking shape in the South Asian region.

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