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US says ‘Pakistani people have to decide whether PM Nawaz should resign’

WASHINGTON: The United States has said Pakistani people will have to decide whether their prime minister should resign [in the wake of his secret wealth abroad as revealed through ‘Panama Papers].

At a weekly press briefing, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby responded to a question regarding protests against PM’s  alleged corruption and resignation clamours by saying: “Well look, these are decisions that the Pakistani people have to make, and we’ve talked about this before. Separate and distinct from that – and I’m not talking about this specific case – the Secretary has also been very clear about the dangers of corruption around the world and what that does to fuel extremism and to increase economic instability and the corrosive effect that it can have on entire societies…

…So corruption is something we obviously take very seriously. You heard about it yesterday when we released our Human Rights Report. But in terms of this particular case, I mean, these are decisions that the Pakistani people have to make,” Kirby said.

Read more: PM Sharif announces judicial commission on Panama leaks

PM Sharif is facing pressure at home, mainly from opposition political parties, who are calling him to step down for fair probe into Panama Papers.

However, the prime minister  announced on April 5 the formation of a commission to investigate allegations made in the Panama Papers that linked his family to a series of offshore companies.

“I have decided to set up a high level judicial commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. This commission will decide after its investigation that what is reality and how much weight these allegations should be given,” Sharif said in a TV address broadcast nationwide.

The leaked papers, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted their money offshore, and also implicated Sharif’s sons Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.

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