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Dangerous or fair: How global newspapers covered the SC judgement on Panama

Dangerous or fair: How global newspapers covered the SC judgement on Panama

The Supreme Court announced its final decision on the Panamagate case on July 28, disqualifying Nawaz Sharif for not being "honest" under Articles 62(1)(f) of the Constitution and Article 99(f) of the Representation of the People's Act.

Ever since the joint investigation team (JIT) submitted its report to the Supreme Court on July 10, both national and international media had speculated about the fate of Nawaz Sharif and his family, which rested in the hands of a five-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.

After the decision was announced yesterday, the global media spoke up. Following are a few reactions published in media organisations around the world.




In an editorial titled "The Guardian view on Pakistan and the Panama Papers: an international affair", the paper wrote:

"Though this leaves Pakistan’s politics in turmoil, it is a very international affair […] Efforts must not stop there. The public register for beneficial owners of UK companies must be extended to British tax havens; it must include trusts; and a proper means of checking it must be introduced. Accountability should not depend on leaks, however effective they have proved this time."

Read the article here.

In an op-ed titled "Pakistan’s Court Sets a Dangerous Precedent", Aqil Shah wrote:

"The verdict came as no surprise. Even though Mr. Sharif was not named in the Panama leaks, and there is no evidence that he abused public office for private gain, the judges disqualified him for hiding assets, and therefore, not being “honest,” […] Pakistan’s politicians are not paragons of probity, but corruption is not the main reason for Mr. Sharif’s predicament […] The judges have clearly undermined the perception of justice by deposing Mr Sharif without due process or trial to prove his innocence."

Read the article here.

In an editorial titled "Nawaz Sharif’s conviction leaves a political vacuum in Pakistan. This is not good for India", the Hindustan Times wrote:

"His departure from the political scene is almost certain to herald a period of volatility within Pakistan and, therefore, greater risk in relations between India and Pakistan."

Read the article here.

In an editorial titled "Pakistan's Politics Fail Again", Bloomberg's editors wrote:

"Nobody should be above the law, but the circumstances surrounding the judgement are troubling… Pakistan's courts shouldn't do the work of voters. Its anti-graft bodies could use more resources and greater independence, but politicians should resolve their political differences in parliament and through the ballot box. Removing Sharif may have been the right thing to do, but it's no remedy for what ails Pakistan."

Read the article here.

In an article titled "India keeps close watch as verdict on Nawaz Sharif puts Pakistan in a flux", Indra Bagchi wrote:

"The [Indian] government has stayed silent, refraining from even categorising this as an "internal matter", which is a stock response by the foreign ministry, but the unseating of the Pakistani leader is not a surprise to South Block.

The possibility of political instability deepening in Pakistan cannot be ruled out and, if that happens, India will take on a more defensive posture."

Read the article here.

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