Imran Khan on Wednesday instructed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) senior leadership to remain in Islamabad for the next three days ahead of the Panamagate verdict on April 20.
Khan issued the missive in a meeting to discuss party strategy in the days following the Panamagate verdict, due to be announced on Thursday by the Supreme Court.
The judgement will be announced by a five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, in Courtroom No 1 at 2pm amidst tight security.
No one is certain if it will be a unanimous judgement, with most practitioners saying it’s very difficult to guess what dimension of the case the bench will consider.
However, legal experts are of the view that certain adverse observations and directions may be in store for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for their inaction over the Panama Papers leaks.
‘PTI spoke up for the people’
PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday took a brief moment to speak to the media while the PTI core committee meeting was underway in Bani Gala.
“They tried their best to put off discussion on Panama Leaks. They wanted the issue to die on its own. But PTI kept pushing,” he said, adding if the party had not pursued the case like it did, the issue would have been forgotten.
He said that PTI spoke up for the people of Pakistan and clear the misconception that they do not care about corruption.
Qureshi appreciated the role of the media, and said journalists in talk shows and newspapers kept the issue alive.
He also thanked the public for taking interest in the issue, saying it made other political parties take notice and speak out on the issue as “previously, they were trying to deflect it”.
Khan’s party, which was a petitioner in the case, has agitated repeatedly for the accountability of ruling powers in the country and stands to gain considerable political capital ahead of next year’s general election if its allegations against the Sharif family are vindicated by the apex court.
In the past, Khan said: “due to the Panama Papers leaks case, the entire nation has been in state of confusion for the past 10 months and the government machinery has done nothing but protect Prime Minister Sharif.”
He believes the PML-N government has ‘destroyed’ state institutions “for the protection of the rulers” and used these organisations as a tool to “twist the arms of their political opponents”.
“Due to corruption at NAB and the Federal Bureau Revenue, foreign investment could not save the country … It is time for NAB’s funeral as it has only pressurised the poor instead of laying its hands on bigwigs involved in mega corruption cases,” he said in the past.