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‘Quit in 7 days or we launch protests’: Pakistani lawyers to PM Nawaz Sharif

The lawyers said that the judgement in Panama Papers case clearly indicted Sharif and his children for financial improprieties and corruption and he should step down as a joint investigation team had been formed to probe him.

world Updated: May 20, 2017 22:17 IST
Pakistan lawyer,nawaz sharif,nawaz sharif panama papers
Documents released as part of the Panama Papers data leak showed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children owned several off-shore companies and used them to buy properties in London. (Reuters file)

Pakistani lawyers on Saturday gave a seven-day deadline to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign on the Panama Papers scandal, failing which they would launch a nationwide movement against him.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) announced their stance together.

“Both bar associations are of the view that in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Panama Papers case (that questioned the moral authority of the premier to rule), PM Nawaz Sharif should no longer hold his office and should therefore resign,” a joint statement issued by both the bar associations said after their convention in Lahore.

They said the judgement in the Panama case has clearly indicted Sharif and his children for financial improprieties and corruption and a joint investigation team has been formed to probe him.

“For fair and independent inquiry against the premier, Nawaz Sharif should step down till the final report of the JIT. In case he does not resign till May 27 the lawyers throughout Pakistan will launch a nationwide campaign and movement to ensure his resignation,” the statement said.

Lawyers supporting the ruling PML-N clashed with members of both bars in a bid to stop them from launching a movement against the premier.

The PML-N lawyers locked SCBA President Rasheed A Rizvi in the Lahore High Court’s library. Rizvi was later freed when the locks were broken by SCBA members. Police were called in to control the situation.

Later the lawyers, led by Rizvi, took out a rally on Mall Road to press the premier to resign.

Sharif narrowly survived in the three-two judgement in his favour in allegations of corruption in the Panama Papers case on April 20.

The case against Sharif emerged last year after the Panama Papers leak linked his children to offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands over the purchase of upmarket property in London.

Opposition figures have accused Sharif of failing to explain the source of the offshore money and lying to parliament. Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing.

First Published: May 20, 2017 22:00 IST