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Terming the Supreme Court's verdict in Panama Papers case a victory of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and democracy, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) central leadership Thursday said that the court's decision will be respected and implemented in letter and sprit.

Talking to reporters outside Supreme Court soon after the five-member bench announced its verdict in Panama Papers case, the senior PML-N leaders including Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb and others claimed victory of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and also distributed sweets among one another.

"The court's decision has vindicated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's stance of establishing an investigation commission to probe the matter," said Khawaja Asif, adding the Prime Minister wrote a letter to the apex court to set up a commission and probe into the matter.

"Today the Supreme Court, by a majority, announced the same decision that the Prime Minister had suggested six months back," he added.

He maintained that the apex court in its verdict established that the proof and witness accounts that the opponents presented before the court were insufficient, and there is a need of further investigation.

"I want to tell all those who wanted or want Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to be disqualified that he [Sharif] will remain the Prime Minister till 2018, and we are confident that he will get re-elected for the next five years as well," he further maintained.

Khawaja Saad Rafique, in his remarks, stated the government would respect the court's decision and fully cooperate with the joint investigation team (JIT) to further investigate the allegations in the Panama Papers in the light of the Supreme Court's verdict, adding it would also ensure implementation on the judgment in letter and sprit.

Severely criticising the critics, especially PTI Chairman Imran Khan, he maintained that the apex court's verdict will give an end to the politics of agitation in the country, adding the PML-N under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif would go forward.

"Nawaz Sharif is Sadiq [truthful] and Amin [trustworthy] as well...And Nawaz Sharif will not only form governments in all the four provinces after 2018 general election but will also secure a two-third majority," he claimed.

"Imran Khan should stop getting jealous and crying...There is still a time for him [Imran] to go back and deliver his promises he had made with the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa," he stated while responding to the PML-N workers with the slogan "Go Imran Go."

Ahsan Iqbal described the apex court's judgment as a victory of democracy and people of Pakistan, adding the verdict reflects that "failed politicians" who intended to derail democracy have once again been defeated.

He said the PTI, which repeatedly propagated against the Prime Minister through staging sit-ins, has miserably been failed to derail democracy as the court declined its plea to de-notify Nawaz Sharif as the PM.

Marriyum Aurangzeb stated that court's judgment is in line with the stance adopted by PML-N from the day one, adding the Prime Minister himself had offered to form JIT to ensure transparency in investigations.

She expressed confidence that investigations of JIT would endorse the viewpoint of PML-N and the Prime Minister.

Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman maintained that the PTI has been befooling its workers but it failed to do the same with the apex court, adding the PTI chief should also be made accountable for wasting the time of the court and the people.

"Imran Khan will pay for his politics in the 2018 general election and will also lose the exiting number of seats in the National Assembly in the next election," she maintained.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2017


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