Panama Papers: Imran ratchets up pressure on Nawaz

PTI chief says will reject powerless commission; hints at staging dharna at D-Chowk


Our Correspondent April 07, 2016
PTI worker shout slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Shairf during a protest in Lahore. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday vowed that his party will not allow controversy raised by the Panama Papers to die down as he hinted at staging a dharna against the government at D-Chowk in Islamabad.

“I am already missing D-Chowk,” Imran quipped while addressing a press conference at the CM House in Peshawar on Wednesday.

“Maybe we don’t need to hold that long a sit-in [this time]. I am looking at a new Pakistan.”

Imran had called for an inquiry into revelations made by the Panama Papers – in which leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca showed that three of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s children –  Maryam, Hasan and Hussain – owned offshore companies. Responding to criticism, Nawaz on Tuesday pledged to create a judicial commission under a retired judge to investigate the papers and to determine whether any illegal act had been committed.

The PTI chief, however, called the commission an attempt to deceive the people, calling the practice of running offshore businesses corruption, tax evasion and money laundering.

“The issue is not going to die down. Voices against it will be raised from all the four sides and the whole nation will demand (action) against corruption,” the PTI chief said.

Imran voiced apprehension that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government could influence the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Board of Revenue, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and even some judges as he hinted at the prime minister’s decision to form a commission under a retired judge.

Imran added that they will not accept a powerless judicial commission having no authority. He further said that he would disclose details of his future plans on the subject in the National Assembly on Thursday.

K-P Ehtesab Commission

A draft of the new accountability act for Khyber- Patkhtunkhwa (K-P) will be passed by the provincial cabinet soon and will be presented in the assembly for clearance, Imran said as he was flanked by K-P Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and other provincial ministers.

“The Director General and Commission’s powers have been cleared. The commission will make the policy and the DG will implement it,” Imran said, adding that he had reviewed a report on the new act prepared by legal experts.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th,  2016.

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