When the Supreme Court’s larger bench resumes hearing on the Panama Papers, today, it is likely to decide whether it should go ahead and hear the petition or constitute a Judicial Commission. In either way, the problems for Sharifs are far from over, but both camps, Sharif as well Imran Khan are equally confident in their ‘do or die’ legal contest, the fate of which is likely to be decided before the New Year.
The hearing is taking place at a time when an important visit of President of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan is underway and he will make an important speech before the Joint Session of the Parliament this afternoon. The surprised and shocking decision of the opposition, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) did not go well either in the political or diplomatic circle and certainly not within Turkish leadership.
While keeping this controversy aside the pressure will continue on Sharifs and they want to come out of this internal crisis as soon as possible. The big question, can they win this important legal battle, which if they do, could set the tone for PML-N’s victory in the next elections.
But, there is a big ‘if’, as all is not over and the reports which this writer has gathered revealed that key bureaucrats close to Sharif may be in trouble, not only in cases related to the ongoing petitions but also the ‘news leak.’
Although, Sharif’s camp looked very confident after the last hearing but some well-informed sources told this writer, that all is not well, and the Qatar connection can reopen a new ‘Pandora Box,’ which could add to the problems for the ruling camps particularly for some trusted bureaucrats of the ruling party.
Prime Minister, himself has not shown any sign of nervousness and looked as active as before. He is holding regular meetings with party leaders and making speeches in official functions as well as in PML-N’s public meetings.
But the manner in which three to four PML-N ministers hold regular press briefings and his own daughter Maryam Nawaz is active on twitter, is not going well in certain circles as she herself is not yet out of the crisis.
SC’s larger bench in the last hearing had already indicated that they would confine the case to Panama Papers, and would not expand its scope despite pleas some other petitioners particular that of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which has asked for ‘accountability for all.’
Sharif camp’s confidence could also be judged from the fact that despite hiring a new lawyer, veteran Akram Sheikh, they did not seek adjournments and also submitted all the required documents.
They considered the Qatar letter their secret weapon, while some well-informed sources