#NotOurPrimeMinister By Ifrah Hassan

Created on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 16:59 | 508 Views
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NotOurPrimeMinister By Ifrah Hassan

#NotOurPrimeMinister:

How Nawaz Sharif’s refusal to step down following the JIT Report’s findings is an embarrassment for Pakistan and its democracy internationally

The fallout of the Panama Papers leak in April 2016 has led to the launching of audits and investigations into thousands of corporations and individuals involved in nefarious offshore shell companies. The wave of outrage that followed resulted in the resignations or impeachments of a multitude of top government officials and statesmen includingIcelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð[1].However, more than a year later, while there has been significant impact against corrupt companies and officials around the world, “PanamaGate” remains without a just resolution in Pakistan as Nawaz Sharif and his family continue to deny any charges of corruption and illegality. As the Head of the State, the flag-bearer of democracy, Sharif and PML-N’s vehement rejection of the Joint Investigation Team’s report which they were in favour of back in April is not only in contempt of court and the wishes of the people of Pakistan who are demanding his resignation or dismissal, but also paints a pathetic picture of democracy in Pakistan.

Following the release of the JIT report last week which found significant loopholes in the evidence and testimonies of the Sharif family about their offshore properties and holdings, articles in reputed news outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, BBC News, The Washington Post and CNBC among many other international media sources have also the questioned the authenticity of Sharif’s claims of innocence.

The falsification of documents charge against Maryam Safdar/ Nawaz because of her premature, if not immature, use of Microsoft’s Calibri font, a scandal which has come to be known as “FontGate”, was the subject of a plethora of international media articles[2]. They all talked about the ludicrousness of a mere font being the reason for the unearthing of decades of corruption and deceit. Under the section of “Leadership” CNBC examined “How Microsoft's Calibri font could lead to this Prime Minister's downfall”; furthermore, LA Times also claimed that “The Panama Papers and a Microsoft font could bring down the government in Pakistan”[3]. Considering that Nawaz Sharif has been promoting Maryam Nawaz as the heir of his political dynasty and the future Prime Minister, such coverage is not only a source of embarrassment and “ridicule” for his family and political party but also the nation these people claim to be representatives of. As the media reports say, walls are closing in on PM Sharif[4] and it is high time that he steps down from office.

Nawaz Sharif’s outright refusal to accept the results of the JIT Report and the increasing pressure by the judicial branch and the public to resign from his post indicates that he really does not care much about the democratic process or the future of democracy in Pakistan as he keeps dismissing the verdict as a “judicial coup” and a “conspiracy” to dethrone him[5].He needs to be held accountable for the taxpayers’ money that has been siphoned offshore to fund his family’s luxurious lifestyle as well as for lying to the people for so long. Such accountability, acceptance of responsibility and respect of the demands of the judiciary and the masses is exactly what Pakistan needs to strengthen its institutions and to uphold democracy.


Footnotes::

[1] https://panamapapers.icij.org/20161201-global-impact.html

[2] See http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/12/how-microsofts-calibri-font-is-an-issue-for-pakistans-prime-minister.html for CNBC. Additionally, The Guardian:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/13/fontgate-microsoft-wikipedia-and-the-scandal-threatening-the-pakistani-pm; BBC Newshttp://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-40571708 Khaleej Times: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/pakistan/nawaz-sharifs-daughter-forged-documents-to-mislead-court TheIndependent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/pakistan-calibri-font-microsoft-prime-minister-nawaz-sharif-corruption-maryam-sharif-panama-papers-a7841381.html Yahoo News:

https://sports.yahoo.com/calibri-nawaz-sharif-fontgate-microsoft-110108428.html Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistans-fontgate-wikipedia-temporarily-halts-edits-on-its-page-on-microsofts-calibri-font/articleshow/59560401.cms; Serambi Indonesia:

http://aceh.tribunnews.com/2017/07/14/skandal-fontgate-font-calibri-microsoft-yang-ungkap-dokumen-palsu-putri-pm-pakistan

[3] LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-pakistan-sharif-20170717-story.html

[4] Firstpost: https://in.news.yahoo.com/panama-papers-walls-close-nawaz-155131670.html

[5] See The New York Times; https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/world/asia/pakistan-muhammad-nawaz-sharif-panama-papers.htmland https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/14/opinion/nawaz-sharif-london-apartments-pakistan.html

For Further Reference Visit:

BBC News: Pakistan court assesses PM Nawaz Sharif wealth claims http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40606167, Panama Papers: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to face investigators http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36092356

Washington Post:https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-opposition-parties-urge-pm-to-quit-amid-allegations/2017/07/11/43da7396-662e-11e7-94ab-5b1f0ff459df_story.html?utm_term=.cf5f98892105

Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-prime-minister-rejects-resigning-after-corruption-probe-recommends-he-face-trial-1499714396

Time: http://time.com/4860480/pakistan-supreme-court-nawaz-sharif/

CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/20/asia/pakistan-pm-sharif-ruling/index.html

Yahoo News: https://in.news.yahoo.com/game-over-pak-pm-nawaz-151331326.html

Times of India: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-editorials/maryams-mandate-nawaz-sharifs-daughter-is-also-his-defender-no-1/ ; http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/nawaz-sharif-rejects-demands-for-his-resignation/articleshow/59577766.cms