Nawaz promises to quit politics, if proven guilty

Published: May 4, 2016
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Governor K-P Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and Federal Minister Akram Khan Durrani expressing solidarity during a public gathering in Bannu. PHOTO; INP

The prime minister rebuked his political arch-rival for his party’s street agitation over the Panama Papers scandal, asking him to wait for a proposed judicial commission to complete its inquiry into claims that the Sharif family has set up offshore companies through money laundering.

“[PTI Chairman] Imran Khan believes in power politics. He should wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court’s commission on the Panama leaks. I assure you I will not stay in office if proven guilty,” Nawaz Sharif said while addressing a public rally in Bunnu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the province where the PTI is in power.

Panama leaks: PM Nawaz should be held accountable before others, says Imran

Nawaz was referring to a judicial inquiry into revelations in the Panama Papers that three scions of the Sharif family were among dozens of world politicians and businessmen who have offshore companies in a tax haven. He, however, insisted the allegations against him were baseless.

Imran has been leading the chorus calling for the resignation of the prime minister who, according to him, has lost the moral authority to stay in power. In his address, Premier Nawaz repeatedly hit out at the PTI, saying Imran’s party was wasting public funds on sit-ins.

He said wherever he went in K-P he was distressed to see old crumbling government buildings, dilapidated hospitals, damaged infrastructure and untidy schools.

“Those who promised a ‘Naya Pakistan’ or ‘Naya K-P’ are wasting public money by staging sit-in demonstrations. They have done nothing for the province,” he said, adding that the PTI had hoodwinked K-P’s people and that “we will bring the real change here”.

Panama leaks probe: Opposition thrashes out parallel ToRs

Speaking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said the multibillion-dollar project was a game-changer for the whole region which would bring huge investment and infrastructural development to the country.

Premier Nawaz said he was in Bannu to launch several development and welfare projects for the people, who, he claimed, had been ignored by the K-P government. He announced upgrading of roads from Kohat to Sarai Kambela and Sarai Kambela to Dera Ismail Khan and enhancing electricity generation capacity of a 350 MW power house in Bannu to 700 MW. He also announced establishing a university in Lakki Marwat and announced construction of an international airport in Bannu and setting up economic zones in Kohat and Karak, which, he said, would bring prosperity to the region.

The prime minister announced provision of Rs200 million each for the district and tehsil councils of Bannu. Nawaz also performed groundbreaking of gas pipelines at five union councils of the city.

Premier Nawaz donned traditional turban as a symbol of honour associated with the K-P culture. The stage was covered with an array of green and white balloons depicting the bi-colour national flag. The public gathering was a show of solidarity demonstrated by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

Panama Paper leaks: Will resign if proven guilty of wrongdoing, says PM

Speaking on the occasion, the cleric-politician hit out at the PTI government which, he said, was “busy killing mice and cannot dare the lion [Nawaz Sharif]”.  He lamented that no attention had been paid to the underdeveloped areas of the country over the past 67 years.

The Maulana said across-the-board accountability was imperative to put the country on the road to progress, and to eliminate the curse of corruption.

Without naming the PTI chief, he said that those criticising the Sharif family today should not forget that they also have secret assets and offshore companies in their name.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • mirestan
    May 4, 2016 - 8:37AM

    Sir If you are proven guilty. We will not let you go like this. Please understand any one cheating on tax and stealing tax payers money must spend rest of his life in lock up. Sir if you have not done any thing wrong why bother. let any one investigate Rather you volunteer to be investigated first. Honest person will have no fear. Nation is looking forward your response.Recommend

  • May 4, 2016 - 8:52AM

    Mr. Prime Minister, Sir, you are guilty as guilty can be. Your children were minors when these properties got purchased. Just go to Parliament and answer the questions of its members. Take the example of PM David Cameron, UK. SalamsRecommend

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2016 - 9:11AM

    dude, you clearly know you are then why so much lies ?

    if you had no hands then why your name is on Panama papers??? Just having your name on those papers shows that you are guilty. That’s all folk.Recommend

  • sheraz
    May 4, 2016 - 9:29AM

    I believe him. He is the most honest and hardworking person in Pakistan. No sarcasm. Recommend

  • Amanzeb Khan
    May 4, 2016 - 9:46AM

    Since he is accused of accumulating wealth beyond his means, it is he who has to prove his innocence. He should be saying bring in any investigation team and judge and I can prove my innocence in front of them. When he says prove me guilty its just a hollow and misleading statement.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    May 4, 2016 - 10:48AM

    Nawaz Sharif may have done something morally wrong. But, nothing can be proved against him or any of his family members on corruption, etc. The reason is that in the 90’s Pakistan’s Parliamentarians have enacted laws that exempt any bank account or transaction in foreign currencies from any probe or investigation. Anyone can deposit any amount in bank accounts held in foreign currencies and can also withdraw or remit any amount from those accounts and these accounts cannot be probed or investigated. Anyone can also carry as much amount in foreign currency out of the country or bring in the country. Only accounts held in Pakistani Rupee can be probed and only if someone brings in or takes out of the country in Pakistani Rupee beyond that is allowed can be probed or investigated. Ayan Ali was released by the courts exactly for the same reason. Rauf Klasra said this recently in one of his TV programs and also quoted the existing laws. He also said that courts had no other way but to release Ayan Ali because of these existing laws. Parliamentarians have covered themselves well in advance, many years ago itself. Also Nawaz Sharif or his family members did not break any laws or any other country too. Recommend

  • TillDeathInnocent
    May 4, 2016 - 11:03AM

    **Sir, Could you please elaborate the term “Guilty” for the Pakistani politicians?**
    You, Pakistani politicians, are not guilty if done corruption of billions, or misuse of powers or even commit mass murders.Recommend

  • Libra
    May 4, 2016 - 12:39PM

    If Nawaz Sharif is guilty then so what? He is elected PM and has every right to loot and plunder this country. After all people elected him to do so. Modi does not need any effort to harm this country, we are self-sufficient.Recommend

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