The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday ordered further investigations into corruption allegations levelled by the opposition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In its ruling, it said sufficient evidence was not available to order his removal from office.
Two judges, of the five-member bench that heard the case, had ruled in favour of disqualifying the prime minister. Three others were of the view that there was not sufficient evidence available to remove Sharif from the post.
The high court launched an investigation into the offshore wealth of Sharif's family late last year after The Panama Papers linked them to offshore businesses.
Opposition political parties had threatened to launch street protests if their demand for an investigation was not met. The opposition accuses Sharif of failing to explain the source of money in offshore companies owned by his children and of lying to parliament. Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing.
The bench ordered further investigations into the transfer of the Sharif family's assets outside Pakistan, local TV channels reported.
This decision comes as a breather for the Sharif family.
Celebrations 🎊🎉 pic.twitter.com/CmtquN5KeT
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 20, 2017
It also proved a boon for the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) that had undergone a rollercoaster journey in the run-up to the announcement of Thursday's verdict. By midday, the KSE-100 index had rallied more than 1,800 points in reaction to the verdict on the case.