PANAMA LEAK: Pakistan opposition pressure on Sharif despite probe pledge

PANAMA LEAK: Pakistan opposition pressure on Sharif despite probe pledge

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s opposi­tion political parties are keeping up pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif despite his announcement to hold probe into Panama Papers leak and a commitment to step down if found guilty of corruption.

Opposition Leader in the Na­tional Assembly Khursheed Shah telephoned Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq and Tehreek-i- Insaf’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi yester­day to discuss with them several options to investigate the scandal involving the offshore accounts of the Sharif family and other Pakistanis.

Jamaat chief suggested that while the government was writing a letter to the Supreme Court chief justice to set up an inquiry commis­sion, opposition parties should also send a similar request to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to ask him not to turn down the govern­ment’s request, Dawn reported.

The chief justice should be re­quested not only to probe the Pan­ama leaks scandal, but also help bring back the looted money from abroad and announce exemplary punishment for those responsible for the offence.

The Jamaat chief noted that the request was necessary to assure the CJP that the opposition had confidence in him to bridge the trust deficit caused by the rejection of a report of the commission that had been set up on the alleged rig­ging in 2013 elections.

When the Pakistan Peoples Party leader contacted Qureshi on the suggestion, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader said that his party would take a decision after going through contents of the government letter.

In an apparent move to put more pressure on the government not to back out of its promised investiga­tion into the Panama leaks, the Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Mian Mahmoodur Rashid, visited Pakistan Muslim League Qauaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

Both the leaders agreed to work in unison within and out­side assemblies as the opposition might not get a better oppor­tunity than this to hold rulers accountable, Rashid said after the meeting.

They both demanded that instead of repeatedly addressing the nation, the prime minister should resign before setting up the proposed commission.

Sharif in his address to the nation yesterday announced to request CJP to lead the probe. He pledged to resign if proved guilty of graft or misappropriation in a high-level probe.

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