Will resign if proved guilty: Nawaz Sharif on Panama Papers leaks

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Apr 23, 2016 14:46 IST
Pakistani men watch a televised addresses to the nation by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Karachi on April 22, 2016. (AFP)

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday he would quit if a judicial commission that will investigate revelations in the Panama Papers leaks finds evidence of wrongdoing by him or members of his family.

In a televised address to the nation, he said he will ask the Chief Justice to head a commission to investigate allegations against his family and others in the Panama Papers.

“I challenge those accusing me of wrongdoing to prove that before the commission, and if anything is proved, I will step down without any delay” Sharif said.

He attacked his detractors and said he was aware of conspiracies being hatched against his government. He said he would fight the allegations levelled against his family.

“Making Panama (Papers) leaks as the basis, some elements are hurling allegations at me,” he said.

“I hereby announce I will write to the Chief Justice, asking him to lead the judicial commission which will investigate revelations made in the Panama Papers,” he said. “I will accept the recommendations of this commission. However, if the allegations are not proved, those levelling them will have to apologise before the nation and will be held answerable.”

Earlier, the Sharif family said none of the corporations mentioned in Panama Papers were owned or run by the premier. It also highlighted that the corporations owned by Sharif’s sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz are legal and that the leaks did not have evidence of wrongdoing by the family.

Around 220 Pakistanis have been named in the Panama Papers, including Sharif’s daughter Maryam, who has been tipped to be his political successor, and Hussain and Hassan. The leaks showed they owned London real estate through offshore companies.

Pakistan People’s Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto said he was disappointed Sharif’s speech and demanded that the premier should resign.

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