Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 20 April narrowly survived being disqualified from his top post after the country’s apex court ordered a two-month-long probe into the allegations of money laundering against his family..
In a 3-2 split decision, a five-judge bench ordered the setting up of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) within a week to probe the charges, that were unearthed in the Panama Paper leaks. The top court ruled that the JIT will have to submit its report in 60 days.
While the judgement gives Sharif a short breather of two months, the Supreme Court order begins by quoting the epigraph from Mario Puzo’s novel, The Godfather.
The epigraph, from the iconic 1969 novel, is a thinly veiled critique of the predicament Nawaz Sharif finds himself in.
Behind every great fortune there is a crime
The epigraph is believed to have been taken from a sentence originally written by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac where the novelist speaks of how the secret of great success which cannot be accounted for is a “crime that was never found”.
The five-judge bench – comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan – issued the landmark judgement 57 days after concluding the hearing. While three of the judges called for a further probe, the other two judges called for Sharif’s disqualification.
The court ordered Sharif and his two sons – Hasan and Hussain – to appear before the JIT, which would consist of officials from the Federal Investigation Agency, the National Accountability Bureau, the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Military Intelligence (MI).