Panama Papers probe: Will go home if the charges stick, says Nawaz

Published: April 23, 2016
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PM Nawaz addresses the nation on Friday. PHOTO: INP

PM Nawaz addresses the nation on Friday. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: 

Succumbing to mounting political pressure for a wide inquiry, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presented himself and his family up for accountability after requesting the Supreme Court to form a commission to investigate the Panama Papers scandal.

Almost three weeks after the leaks revealed that the prime minister’s three children were among dozens of influential people from across the globe having offshore companies in tax havens, the government sent a letter to the Supreme Court registrar, requesting chief justice of Pakistan to form an inquiry commission under broad-based terms of references (ToRs).

Govt announces ‘open-ended’ inquiry

“It is requested that the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan may kindly nominate appropriate number of honourable judges of the Supreme Court as members of the commission, preferably with honourable chief justice himself as its president,” read the letter sent to the apex court’s registrar by the law ministry.

The move was announced by Premier Nawaz Sharif in his second address to the nation on the matter. In his earlier address, the PM had denied any wrongdoing and offered to form a commission under a former judge – an offer that was rejected by the opposition.

“I once again present myself and my family up for accountability,” PM Nawaz said. “The day allegations against me are proved; I will not hesitate for a moment and go home”. However, he claimed that the current crisis, whipped up by his opponents, was aimed at creating instability in the country.

“The fascist attitude will cause destruction and bring instability to the country,” he said.

Panama Leaks: Nisar renews offer for a ‘consensus commission’

Without naming his arch rival and head of the PTI, the prime minister castigated Imran Khan for his actions. He also said he would wholeheartedly accept the recommendations of the commission. “However, those accusing me will have to face the nation and seek its forgiveness if their allegations are proved wrong,” he said.

Claiming the ruling PML-N believed in good governance, transparency and an end to corruption, he said even international organisations had acknowledged his party’s record of good governance.

“The rule of law, transparent government and moral responsibility are rooted in the supremacy of democracy and Constitution,” he said, adding that it was his government that published the tax directory for the first time.

Rejecting all allegations, he said his family had been paying taxes when paying taxes was unfashionable. Nawaz said his family had been made accountable for each and every moment and would be accountable in the future as well.

“These are all 22-year old allegations and all these cases have been probed several times. The former president Pervez Musharraf thoroughly investigated, but failed to find misappropriation of even a penny,” he said.

While accepting that he was accountable, the PM said those who were levelling allegations against him and his family were also accountable.

Opposition sees ‘victory’ in PM’s move, rejects ToRs

“Why has no one dared to awaken the Supreme Court when we were exiled? Those claiming to be the embodiment of virtue today, also kept mum, except for very few people, when our businesses and private residence were locked.”

In an allusion to the former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz said people should also be held accountable who abrogated the Constitution; asked the Supreme Court judges to take oath at gunpoint; subjected the PML-N workers to torture and falsely implicated him in a hijacking case.

Referring to the PTI’s marathon sit-in in Islamabad in 2014 against alleged rigging in 2013 polls, Nawaz said it was unacceptable that those attacking parliament and threatening to drag the prime minister on the streets, were now championing supremacy of the Constitution.

“Those who were making the allegations of rigging and were using foul language by standing on the [shipping] containers, did not have moral courage to seek forgiveness from the nation after the commission’s report [cleared us of any wrongdoing],” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2016.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Apr 23, 2016 - 10:15AM

    If Nawaz Sharif had or has any love or patriotic feelings for this country, he will not have the slightest hesitation in resigning IMMEDIATELY.
    How did the money come into his possession and leave the country? The amounts are gigantic because Mayfair and Parklane apartments don’t come cheap. He goes overseas to beg for trade and not aid, which is just a FARCE and does not mean a whit. He must bring his son back from UK to invest and improve the economy.
    If the state machinery of Pakistan cannot recover the amounts and punish him, then the solution is to deprive them of their citizenships and send them into EXILE. Let him and his family live with SHAME and DISHONOR among the Americans and British. Salams Recommend

  • Naim Khan
    Apr 23, 2016 - 10:17AM

    Mr PM Nawaz saab what do you mean by if found guilty? Sir you are guilty it’s better if go home, you may think that people of Pakistan are fools, sir not any moor, go home. Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Apr 23, 2016 - 11:21AM

    This is harsh reality for which we have to ready mentally now that there will nothing prove against Nawaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif will be in his office because report will be presented in the concealed manner first of all before Nawaz Sharif and his federal cabinet for final approval and how this is possible that Nawaz Sharif and his federal cabinet will approve the report and will tell the nation truth and reality if it is against Nawaz Sharif and how much inquiry commission will be free without any pressure in hidden or disclosed form that inquiry commission will be fully allowed to ask any question to any one including Nawaz Sharif and his children for free,fair and transparent inquiry and on inquiry commission’s directions all the required documents will be provided to inquiry commission truly and completely which inquiry commission will require from any departments any time?????Recommend

  • mirestan
    Apr 23, 2016 - 3:34PM

    If you are found responsible of this mess . You are not going home. You are going to jail for life time. Please understand the satiation and run away to Saudi Arabia other wise you will not be able to see your grand children. This is the truth.Recommend

  • Khalid Khan
    Apr 23, 2016 - 5:06PM

    He will never go home he has to be dragged from this powerful seat. imagine for a moment if Maryam Safdar replaces him a PM. That day is not far the way things are going. Long live the Kingdom Of Pakistan. Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Apr 23, 2016 - 9:56PM

    “The day allegations against me are proved; I will not hesitate for a moment and go home” says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. What a pity the man still does not see the seriousness of the situation and does not seem to realize that if allegations against are proved – and of course they will be proved – he will go somewhere else and definitely home and will also have to cough up the ill-gotten wealth.

    And like father, like daughter, I remember Maryam had said that if proved wrong, she will apologize. How simple. The family does not seem to regard massive corruption, nepotism and bad governance as little more than a bad joke, requiring just an apology and going home.

    And then the man says “The fascist attitude (demanding effective probe and bringing back of looted wealth) will cause destruction and bring instability to the country. He talks as if the country is sort of ‘heaven on earth, enjoying perfect stability, peace and prosperity.

    And then he had the cheek to claim “The ruling PML-N believed in good governance, transparency and an end to corruption,.” as if the masses were just blind and deaf fools who do not see, hear or feel things.

    And he added “The rule of law, transparent government and moral responsibility are rooted in the supremacy of democracy and Constitution.” Very true indeed. But where is that democracy? Definitely not in Pakistan, which is really the root cause of all problems..

    KarachiRecommend

  • syed & syed
    Apr 24, 2016 - 2:23AM

    Pm sahib you know the truth. There is no need for commission. Panama leaks charge sheet ed you and like a siana bacha go homeRecommend

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