• Sunday, February 05, 2023


Panama papers: Imran Khan leads protests against Nawaz Sharif

Panama papers probe: Opposition leader Imran Khan was a petitioner in the case

By: RithikaSiddhartha

PAKISTANI opposition party lawmakers tore up the agenda and shouted in a parliament session toda (April 21) as they demanded that prime minister Nawaz Sharif step down during an investigation into his finances.

Opposition leader Imran Khan said he would lead protests demanding Sharif’s resignation, saying the prime minister had lost the moral authority to stay in office while being investigated.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday (April 20) that there was insufficient evidence to order Sharif’s removal from office but called for further investigation into corruption allegations in connection with the so-called Panama Papers leaks.

A five-member bench was split three vote to two in favour of Sharif retaining his position.

Opposition lawmakers today chanted slogans demanding Sharif’s resignation and tore up the assembly’s agenda for the day, before the speaker suspended the session, television footage showed.

“I was the petitioner in the case, the hearing continued for four months, at least I should have been allowed to speak in the parliament,” Khan, a former cricket star, later told reporters outside the assembly.

The Supreme Court, in its 549-page judgment, ordered a joint investigation team be formed to look into allegations around three of Sharif’s four children using offshore companies to buy properties in London.

The investigating team has two months to complete its inquiry, after which a special bench will decide what action to take, the court said.

The prime minister and his children deny any wrongdoing.

The joint investigation team will comprise members from six different government bodies including intelligence agencies and financial regulatory authorities.

While the court’s decision has been celebrated by Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League as a victory, legal experts and analysts say the extended investigation undermines his authority as he heads into an election due next year.


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