No prime minister of Pakistan has completed a full term in power since the country won independence 70 years ago. Nawaz Sharif was a year away from doing so; instead he has been ousted for a third time. On Friday the supreme court disqualified him from office and referred the issue of his family’s offshore assets to anti-corruption authorities. Mr Sharif denies the allegations, but stood down at once; his ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party is expected to nominate a successor shortly.
Though this leaves Pakistan’s politics in turmoil, it is a very international affair. It was sparked by revelations in the Panama Papers – the unprecedented leak from an offshore law firm – concerning luxury London property, bought through British Virgin Islands companies linked to Mr Sharif’s children, who were minors at the time. In 2008, they used the