Dr Babar Awan, lawyer of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman, in an interview on Thursday said that in his legal opinion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif “was no longer the premier of Pakistan” as per the Supreme Court's verdict on Panamagate case.
Awan added that he was satisfied with the split judgement given by the apex court.
The court's short order can be read here.
The drawn out SC case to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly misleading the nation on his family's involvement in corrupt practices, as outlined in the Panamagate scandal, ended Thursday with the court ordering the formation of a Joint Investigation Team to probe how the family's money was transferred to Qatar.
The final verdict was split 3-2 among the five-judge bench, with two dissenting notes from Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Gulzar Ahmed. Justice Ejaz Afzal authored the majority opinion in the 540-page verdict.
Awan, in his interview on ARY News, said he is proud of the Pakistani people, the political workers and the media for "successfully" pursuing the issue, adding that in his opinion, the three judges who formed the majority opinion have "in a way, reserved their judgement".
The lawyer added that the majority had not "over-ruled" what the two dissenting judges have said.
Awan further said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is legally bound to pursue a case of corruption against the prime minister as per Justice Khosa's “order" in the dissent, adding that even though it was a split judgement, both opinions carry "equal significance".
By similar reasoning, Awan said, PM Nawaz is "no longer" the premier of Pakistan.
"He is not my prime minister. He is not the prime minister of Pakistan either. He is only the prime minister of N-League," Awan said.
The PTI counsel further argued that it is because of the weight the dissenting opinion holds, that the opposition "for the first time has unanimously demanded that the PM resigns".
Awan also said the bench has not given a "clean chit" to the accused.
"The federal government is investing all its money to save one man," he said, claiming the PML-N is pouring the "country's wealth" in campaigning for the upcoming election.