Pakistan Supreme Court Disqualifies Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has stepped down after the Supreme Court disqualified him from office as leader of the country's government. Friday's landmark ruling comes after months of hearings in a case instigated by the "Panama Papers" leaks, related to alleged corruption during his previous two terms in office.

The five-member bench of the Supreme Court announced the verdict to a packed courtroom in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Sharif's removal on the grounds that he lied about his assets during a corruption probe means that his ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, which holds a comfortable majority in parliament, will have to nominate a new leader.

According to a statement from the prime minister's office, Sharif stood down from his post in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. "All legal and constitutional options will be exercised regarding our serious differences with this verdict, the statement read.

The 67-year-old becomes the latest Pakistani prime minister not to have completed a five-year term in office, many having been overthrown in coups by the country's powerful military, which has ruled the country for roughly half of its 69-year-history.

Courtesy:Al Jazeera