Govt rejects Imran Khan's demand to address nation on state television

Pervez Rashid asks PTI chairman to cooperate with the judicial commission for objective inquiry of Panama Papers

News Desk April 08, 2016
Information Minister Pervez Rashid. PHOTO: APP

Information Minister Pervez Rashid has said only the president and prime minister can address the nation on state television and not anyone else.

Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Friday asked Pakistan Television (PTV) to air his live speech to dispel “disinformation against Shaukat Khanum Hospital and explain his position on Panama Leaks.”

In his letter addressing PTV’s secretary information, Imran urged making “all necessary arrangements for the live address on April 10.”

Imran Khan demands commission headed by CJP to probe Panama Papers revelations

A massive leak of 11.5 million tax documents on April 3 exposed the secret offshore dealings of world leaders and celebrities, also naming three of the premier’s children for owning London real estate through offshore companies.

Talking to media, Rashid said PTI chairman could not be allowed to speak live without directives to this end from the National Assembly speaker.

“Imran Khan’s wants to address the nation on television but does not want to appear before the judicial commission to record his statement,” he said.

PM Nawaz forms judicial commission to probe Panama Papers

“This is tantamount to delaying tactics as they [PTI] know they will be embarrassed when no illegality would be proved against any member of PML-N or their families [regarding Panama Papers]."

Information minister said the government had constituted an independent and empowered commission and anyone wanting a just inquiry of Panama Papers should support it.

Later, while talking to media, Imran said the premier had lost ethical ground to continue holding his position and advised him to step down.

He also announced launching a political movement in the context of the revelations, saying he will announce future plan of action on April 24.

On the occasion, meeting of parliamentary body of the party endorsed the chairman’s decision to launch a movement against the ruling elite.

Panama Papers: Huge tax leak exposes Putin aides, world leaders, stars

In response to the leaks, the prime minister on Tuesday announced forming a high-level judicial commission, under a retired judge, to investigate the allegations of owning off-shore companies and concealing assets.

PTI, however, rejected the same and asked for forming a commission led by the Chief Justice of Pakistan and threatened street protests if the demand is not met.