Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who always denied the allegations of any wrongdoing and closed all the corruption cases against him in the country by calling them biased and inaccurate, has received a huge blow from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The Pakistani court on July 28, 2017, announced its verdict to remove Sharif from the office after the corruption charges against Sharif and his family have been proved, prima facie. The court order follows an investigation report, which found Nawaz Sharif's family involved in amassing unaccounted wealth.
The court has also ordered a criminal investigation against Sharif and his family. The supporters of 67-year old Nawaz Sharif said this is the conspiracy against him and his party to unseat him.
After the verdict, Nawaz Sharif has quit as Prime Minister of Pakistan. This is being considered a huge blow to Pakistan's political stability.
Let's try and understand what it means to Pakistan.
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which was set up on April 20, 2017, found: "Significant disparity/gaps between the known and declared sources of income and the wealth amassed by Mr Sharif and his family."
The investigation revealed some shocking truths about how he misused his power and overstated his father's money to justify his wealth.
The reports also state that Nawaz Sharif's family saw an unreasonable increase in his family's wealth during the first 10 years of him being in power.
The joint investigation report accused his daughter Maryam Sharif of becoming a beneficial owner in his off shore companies through which flats in London were acquired.
All these allegations were based on the trust deed, which she signed in 2006. The Joint Investigation Team also reported that the document was printed in Calibri font, which wasn't available commercially until 2007, reports BBC.
The information about his family acquiring properties outside Pakistan and its link with off shore companies was leaked along with the 11 million documents held by the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca in 2015.
The findings of the report divided the country's opinion. People who watched the report on pro-government channels said JIT's (Joint Investigation Team) reports are nothing but a lie to unseat PM Nawaz Sharif. On the other hand, there were many who believed that PM and his family were corrupt.
It was said that experts who appeared on certain TV channels in Pakistan raised doubts over JIT's findings. They said JIT appears to have either covered up for its lack of access or understanding or has included opinions that do not have a sound basis.
A lot of people in Pakistan were also suspecting that Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) is interfering in the case ahead of 2018 elections so that it can retain its influence in the country.
Amidst all these allegations, the Supreme Court of Pakistan passed a verdict on July 28, 2017, to remove PM Nawaz Sharif from the office. The court premises was over crowded when the verdict was pronounced.
Many say that Nawaz Sharif's political career has ended with the Supreme Court decision.
Members of the Opposing party in Pakistan exploded in joy as soon as the Supreme Court announced the verdict.
Sharif who served Pakistan for record three times was just one year away from becoming the first Pakistan Prime Minister to complete his full-term in the office.
Most people in Islamabad appreciated the court's decision. More than 3,000 armed paramilitary personnel were deployed in Supreme Court premises at the time of verdict.
What remains to be seen is whether Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz Sharif (CM of Punjab province) will become Pakistan's next Prime Minister. Or the ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League, may choose interim Prime Minister until the country holds general elections in 2018.
Stay tuned for more updates.