News Analysis |
The Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a 23-page detailed verdict on the review petitions filed by the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif against the July 28th Panama Papers verdict.In the detailed verdict, the court has clarified any ‘confusion’ the Sharif family may have had about the six main points and also elaborated on the reasons behind what the court had stated earlier.
Since the court has maintained that “no error much less patent on the face of the judgment under review has been pointed out”, therefore, the review petition has been dismissed.The court has refused to give ‘concession’ or ‘leniency’ to Nawaz for ‘deliberately’ concealing assets.
The court order reads as the petitioner deliberately concealed his assets and willfully and dishonestly made a false declaration on solemn affirmation in his nomination papers. It is not something to be looked at with a casual eye and outlook.
A well-reasoned judgement by the Supreme Court of Pakistan will help in strengthening institutions by encouraging them to work independently.
It is not only a legal duty but a qualifying test for the candidates who in the later days preside over the destiny of the people. This duty has to be performed without a taint of misrepresentation. This test has to be qualified without resorting to unfair means.
Any concession at this stage or any leniency to the candidates or the person elected would be a prelude to a catastrophe in politics, which has already had enough of it.”The court has also said that being the prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif’s conduct should have been “above board and impeccable”.
But the court stated with great dismay that he (Nawaz Sharif) has not been “fair and forthright” and never came up with the ‘whole truth’. “he petitioner [Nawaz Sharif] has not been fair and forthright in answering any of the queries made during the course of the hearing. He never came forth with the whole truth.
He tried to fool the people inside and outside the Parliament.” The court went on and expressed its pleasure by saying that [h]e even tried to fool the Court without realizing that “you can fool all the people for some of the time, some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.
PML-N badly needs some time to organize itself and to bring something or someone new to again ‘fool some of the people’.
The apex court has also made it clear that although Nawaz Sharif never withdrew his salary, it is still an ‘asset’. It also stated that Nawaz Sharif had the power to withdraw the salary but he didn’t do it in favour of the company.
“he power to withdraw or waive it lay exclusively with the petitioner and that he instead of withdrawing it, waived it in favour of the company,” read the verdict.
On another argument that Nawaz did not disclose his assets by mistake the court responded quite straightforwardly by stating; “The argument would have been tenable had the petitioner been a novice or a new entrant in business and politics.
Read more: Nawaz Sharif appears in accountability court
But where he has been neck deep in business and politics ever since the early ’80s, it is unbelievable that he did not understand the simple principle of accounting that his accrued and accumulated salary of six and a half years was his asset and liability of the company he was an employee of.”
To the Sharif counsel’s argument that Nawaz was not given a chance for a ‘fair trial’ the court responded with the following; “we not only gave him a fair chance to vindicate his position before this court, heard him at length for almost two days but also accepted whatever he stated about work permit, his employment contract with Capital FZE Jabal Ali, his position as the chairman of the board and his entitlement to salary which according to him was not withdrawn.”
The court has refused to give ‘concession’ or ‘leniency’ to Nawaz for ‘deliberately’ concealing assets.
So, “the mere fact that we did not agree with the petitioner when he stated that his unwithdrawn salary is not an asset would not amount to the denial of a fair chance to vindicate his position.”
Furthermore, the Supreme Court has also made it clear that the monitoring judge won’t influence the proceedings in the trial court. Rather the role of the monitoring judge was to present carelessness on the part of investigators.
A loud, clear and to-the-point verdict has made it difficult for Nawaz-led PML-N to ‘fool all the people for all the time’. Internally disorganized PML-N will be reluctant to face criticism after the final judgement of the Supreme Court.
The PML-N leaders will leave no stone unturned now to delay the upcoming elections as the verdict of the court will expose many of lies surfaced by the party leadership. PML-N badly needs some time to organize itself and to bring something or someone new to again ‘fool some of the people’.
The court order reads as the petitioner deliberately concealed his assets and willfully and dishonestly made a false declaration on solemn affirmation in his nomination papers.
The verdict can, however, be better described as a document authored by the honourable judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to kill the ‘confusion’ of Nawaz Sharif and his followers. The document has served its purpose to the best.
Interestingly, the court has made it clear that it would no longer give constitutional covers to the lies of politicians. A well-reasoned judgement by the Supreme Court of Pakistan will help in strengthening institutions by encouraging them to work independently. The independence of institutions makes them functional, strong and trustworthy.