Sharif has lost all moral and legal grounds to continue as prime minister: opposition

Pakistan’s opposition parties have called on the Supreme Court to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office after an investigation found that he and his family possess wealth exceeding their known sources of income.

The opposition parties believe that Sharif has lost all moral and legal grounds to continue as prime minister.

Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the second largest opposition party, said: “Nawaz Sharif has now lost all moral authority to remain PM – an authority that began dwindling when Panama Papers came out. He must resign immediately” in light of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report.

The Supreme Court is expected to put Sharif on trial on corruption charges or even disqualify him. based on Joint Investigation Team (JIT) ordered by the court to probe the case.

The court is currently investigating a case against Sharif family linked to the mass leak of documents from a Panama-based law firm in 2016, which revealed that Sharif and his family have offshore accounts.

Government ministers have dismissed the 256-page JIT report as a ‘piece of trash’ and has challenged the report. But the two main opposition parties, however, have termed the JIT report on the Sharif family’s offshore businesses as ‘unbiased and based on facts’.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has been consistently pursuing corruption charges against the ruling family, accuses Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of maligning and corrupting state institutions for personal gains.

PTI leader Babar Awan reminded the public that “Two out of five judges of the Supreme Court already believe PM should be disqualified. If one more judge rules for the PM’s disqualification then [we will hear] ‘Go Nawaz Go’ [chants] from the Supreme Court as well.”

Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) chief Farooq Sattar said the PM had lost moral authority to stay in office. The PM should resign for the sake of democracy and the ruling party should bring in new PM.

Jamaat-i-Islami chief Siraj ul Haq said the PM had no other option but to resign because he did not fulfill the requirements of Article 62 and 63 of the 1973’s Constitution.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has no other option but to resign

Naeem Bukhari, a lawyer for opposition leader Imran Khan, in his arguments, appreciated the JIT and asked the court to implement the report and disqualify the Prime Minister.

The Sharifs have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Their attorney, Khawaja Haris, argued Monday that the probe was flawed.

The court has the constitutional power to disqualify someone from serving as prime minister, and is expected to rule in the coming weeks.

The court will resume hearing the case Tuesday (18 July 2017).