Pakistan's top court rules prime minister can stay in power
In money laundering case, Pakistan Prime Minister on Thursday narrowly survived being disqualified after a 3-2 split decision by a Supreme Court bench which ordered to set up a Joint Investigation Team within a week to probe the allegations.
Such a move would leave Sharif's party in power, but trigger intense turmoil just when the economy is showing modest growth and security has improved as the civilian government and the powerful military have appeared to come to uneasy terms. The nation's benchmark stock index extended gains after the ruling, advancing 3.9%, the largest jump in more than two years. "Not for once have I seen my father or any member of the family anxious or concerned".
Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif might have narrowly escaped the jinx attached with April, a month in which Pakistani premiers have previously been overthrown, sentenced to life and hanged.
Mr Sharif's daughter Maryam, tipped as a future political star, and his sons Hasan and Hussein are implicated in the allegations.
"We will cooperate fully with the investigation, and seek to clear whatever doubts are left", defence minister Khawaja Asif told AFP.
Sharif was first accused of corruption after three of his children were linked to offshore accounts uncovered by the 2015 Panama Papers leak. The investigative unit should submit its report within 60 days, he said. "He should resign from his position on moral grounds", said Pervaz Ahmad, an Islamabad resident.
Details of the Sharif family's offshore assets surfaced when papers from the Panama-based law firm of Mossack Fonseca were leaked previous year.
At the heart of the matter is the legitimacy of the funds used by the Sharif family to purchase several high-end London properties via offshore companies. He said that all five judges had rejected the evidences and explanation of Nawaz Sharif.
While speaking to private television channel Awami Muslim Leauge leader - and a party to the case - Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed seemed like he was riled up and said, "Just like Uzair Baloch, they are going to be presented in front of a JIT".
About 500 security personnel have been deployed in advance of the decision, with access to the Pakistan Supreme Court sealed except for those with special passes.
"It was a close call for the prime minister", he told Reuters.
"A thorough investigation is required", Justice Khosa said, announcing the decision.
Kashif Abbasi of ARY News said the ruling party has "nothing to be happy about" while Munizae Jahangir of Aaj news said "the issue won't be resolved" until the investigation was concluded.