ISLAMABAD: As the Supreme Court of Pakistan hears the case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the Panama Papers, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has been on the defensive stating that the name of the premier is not mentioned in the leaked documents.
PML-N parliamentarian Daniyal Aziz, while addressing a press conference on Thursday, said that Panama Papers which were first revealed on 3rd April by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) mentioning Nawaz Sahrif.
However, he said that the ICIJ had later retracted and clarified that the name of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not directly mentioned in the Panama Papers, but rather his children was mentioned as the owners of offshore firms.
He said that a similar case involved the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, which claimed that his children owned the offshore investment.
Aziz said that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wrote a letter to the Supreme Court on 22nd April to initiate an investigation under the Inquiry Act. However, this was delayed due to the budget session which only discusses financial matters and later by the advent of the month of Ramazan.
He blamed the opposition for the delay in the investigation by not mutually agreeing on the Terms of Reference of the inquiry commission. “Even the opposition parties did not agree on making tailor-made ToRs for Nawaz Sharif,” he said.
He questioned what made Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan suddenly realise on 29th August that he should file a petition in the Supreme Court.
He said that the Prime Minister even appeared in parliament but Imran Khan decided to boycott it rather than being present there to question him. He also said that Imran had a history of backtracking from his responsibilities.
It may be mentioned that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday filed a replied in the Supreme Court stating that he does not own any offshore company or any luxurious flats in London.
The Prime Minister also pleaded that he was never involved in any tax evasion. His counsel maintained that Nawaz Sharif could not be disqualified as per Article 62 and 63 of the constitution of Pakistan.
He claimed that his children Maryam, Hussain and Hasan were independent and were not supported by him through any means. None of them have as yet filed any reply in the apex court.