Pakistan Army chief calls for rooting out corruption

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2016 14:47 IST
File photo of Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif. (Reuters)

Pakistan Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif waded into the Panama Papers leaks controversy on Tuesday, stressing the need for “across-the-board accountability” so that corruption can be uprooted to ensure the country’s prosperity.

In his remarks to a gathering of army personnel in Kohat, Sharif said, “Across-the-board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s armed forces will fully support every meaningful effort in that direction, which would ensure a better future for our next generations.”

The army chief’s remarks come at a time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is under attack from the opposition after his two sons and a daughter were linked to the Panama Papers scandal.

In his pointed remarks, the army chief said the war against terrorism and extremism being fought with the backing of the country “cannot bring enduring peace and stability unless the menace of corruption is uprooted”.

Around 220 Pakistanis, including Nawaz Sharif’s three children, have been named in the massive leak of documents from a Panama-based law firm. The prime minister has rejected any allegations of money laundering, saying his children have legitimate businesses abroad.

He has ordered the setting up of an inquiry commission to probe the issue.

Analysts said the Pakistan Army chief’s remarks will increase pressure on the prime minister. Already, the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party has said it will hold a protest outside the prime minister’s house in the coming week.

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