Thursday, April 07, 2016
Web Desk

Imran Khan threatens street protest in NA session on Panama Leaks

Imran Khan demands judicial commission to investigate Panama leaks should be headed by serving CJ of the Supreme Court.

Web Desk
Imran Khan threatens street protest in NA session on Panama Leaks

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan threatened to go back to streets if Panama Papers — an unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from an offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca — are not investigated on merit.

Lawmakers were debating on the Panama Papers’ revelations at a specially convened National Assembly session in Islamabad on Thursday.

Khan demanded that the judicial commission to investigate Panama leaks should be headed by serving chief justice of the Supreme Court.

“Prime Minister should present himself before the commission for accountability,” the PTI chief said. “Forensic experts should also be made part of the commission,” he added.

Imran Khan threatens street protest in NA... by GeoNews

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah urged the government to “delicately resolve the issue to come out of it clean”.

“Prime Minister is responsible for all state affairs,” he said, adding: “Nobody will accept the government’s judicial commission on Panama leaks.”

“Panama Papers’ revelations should be audited by an international firm,” Shah demanded. “We wouldn’t accept anything other than an international audit,” he said.

Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif said names of Prime Minister's children were mentioned in Panama Papers but there was no reference of the Prime Minister himself. He said despite this, the Prime Minister addressed the nation and explained background of his family business.

Khawaja Asif said the Prime Minister has announced setting up of a high-level judicial commission which will have comprehensive terms of reference to ensure transparency of its investigations.

About demand of the leader of the opposition regarding forensic audit by a company, the minister said anyone can appear before the commission and produce any evidence.

Asif clarified that it would be an inquiry commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. He said if someone has any objection to the inquiry commission then he can knock the door of the Supreme Court.

He said the opposition had been agitating on several issues during the last three years but no one went to the judiciary as these were mere allegations and had no evidence to present. He pointed that funds of a charity organisation were invested in offshore companies.

Earlier today, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi held a meeting with Shah. The two leaders deliberated on the situation emerged after the Panama Papers leaks.

Qureshi said PTI, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) were on the same page regarding offshore companies, adding, “We are chalking out a joint strategy with the opposition parties over the matter.”

He went on to say that Panama leaks issue would be strongly raised in the lower house of the Parliament.

Qureshi said, “We have three options under consideration. The first is to raise the issue in the parliament, second to move court of law and final is to go to the court of masses.

“However, whatever steps are taken it will be from the platform of joint opposition.”

Leaked confidential documents spanning over nearly 40 years that spell out the extensive use of tax havens by politicians, world leaders and celebrities to launder money and evade taxes through one of the most secretive companies the Panamaian law firm Mossack Fonseca has taken the world by storm.

Many Pakistanis have also been named in their revelations.

The documents identify many Pakistani business tycoons and politicians including late two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as well certain members of the ruling Sharif family (excluding PM Nawaz Sharif and his brother Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif) to have use tax havens to hide their wealth.