PM Sharif returns to Pakistan after health check-up in London

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2016 10:35 IST
File photo of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York. (AFP)

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif boarded a flight from Britain to Pakistan on Tuesday, quashing rumours that he wouldn’t return home after members of his family were linked to the leaks in the Panama Papers.

Sharif travelled to London last Wednesday for a medical check-up amid rumours he was leaving Pakistan following the leaks of the Mossack Fonseca documents, which showed his two sons and a daughter owned offshore assets.

He told reporters in London before his departure that he was “feeling much better after doctors gave him a clean bill of health”. Sharif added, “With your prayers I hope (my health) will remain well. I am going back to my country right now where I will once again start working for the revival of its economy.”

Sharif accused Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan of confusing the people with his plans for a sit-in outside Sharif’s London home to protest over the Panama Papers. “I have done nothing illegal and he is trying to deceive the public,” he said.

Pakistan, he said, needs peace and stability for its economic revival and the nation has rejected negative politics. “A large number of Pakistanis want peace and stability in the country instead of the politics of sit-ins,” he said.

Sharif said a commission will soon be formed to probe the Panama Papers. “Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has already disclosed the names of the people we have contacted to form the commission and the Supreme Court has also passed remarks on the issue,” he added.

Opposition parties have severely criticised Sharif’s decision to visit London at a time when demands were being made for his resignation following the leaks.

About 220 Pakistanis, including Sharif’s three children, have been named in the massive leak of documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. The exposé includes 143 Pakistani politicians, some serving and retired judges, several businessmen and a media baron. The leaks sparked calls for an independent probe against those with offshore assets.

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