Nawaz Sharif on Friday stepped down as the prime minister of Pakistan despite having "strong reservations" on Supreme Court’s verdict, which disqualified him from holding public office in a landmark decision on the Panama Papers case, the Dawn reported. This decision bring’s Sharif’s third-term in power to an abrupt end, around one year before the scheduled general elections, which would have seen him become the first Pakistani prime minister to complete the five-year term. Following is the chronology of the Panamagate scandal: April 4, 2016: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism publishes the Panama Papers, exposing tax evasion by the world's elite through off-shore accounts and shell companies.
The documents include names of Sharif's family. April 5, 2016: Sharif sets up a judicial committee to investigate the allegations, denies charges. April 26, 2016: Opposition parties reject the judicial commission set up by the government. November 1, 2016: The Supreme Court decides to pursue a case related to Nawaz Sharif. November 7, 2016: PML-N submits Qatari prince's letter to the Supreme Court containing information about the London flats that were at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal. January 6, 2017: Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz submits details of assets after the Supreme Court resumes hearing. April 20, 2017: SC orders formation of a JIT with a split 3-2 verdict to probe the corruption charges against Sharif. May 5, 2017: SC formally constitutes the JIT. May 22, 2017: The JIT presents its first bi-weekly report to the SC in two volumes. May 24, 2017: The JIT sends questionnaires to Sharif and his two sons - Hussain and Hassan. May 28, 2017: Sharif's elder son, Hussain, appears before the JIT, claims it did not provide him any questionnaire. May 30, 2017: Hussain appears before JIT for the second time. June 13, 2017: The JIT submits report to the SC on obstructions to its work, blames government institutions for "creating impediments in the collection of evidence". June 15, 2017: Sharif appears before the JIT for questioning, becoming the first sitting Pakistan prime minister to appear before any investigating agency. June 17, 2017: Sharif's younger brother and Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif questioned by JIT. July 5, 2017: Sharif's daughter Maryam appears before JIT. July 7, 2017: Former Qatari premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani sends a letter to the JIT, asking it to record his statement at his palace before submitting its final report to the SC. July 8, 2017: PML-N says will reject any JIT report without Qatari ex-premier's statement. July 10, 2017: The JIT submits the final report to the SC. July 21, 2017: The three-judge bench Supreme Court bench hearing the case reserves decision. July 28, 2017: The five-member SC bench unanimously rules against Sharif, disqualifying him from the office. Currently, it is unclear who will be appointed to take over his post until the 2018 general elections.