Panama Papers: Pakistan PM Sharif denies allegations, forms high-level probe panel

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday formed a high-level judicial commission to probe any financial wrongdoing, a day after three of his children were named in the Panama Papers for owning offshore companies prompting demands for an enquiry by the opposition.

Addressing the nation, Sharif announced formation of the commission to probe allegations against him and his family.

"I hereby announce to form a judicial commission which will be led by a former judge of the Supreme Court. This commission will weigh the allegations being levelled and will give its verdict after due investigation," he said.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

The judicial commission will be led by a retired Supreme Court judge, said the premier.

The premier gave a detailed background of the businesses controlled by his family that he said were established many years before Pakistan was founded adding despite repeated efforts to ruin his business in the past, he and his family had paid outstanding amount of nearly Rs six billion.

"My family has faced a barrage of accusations. My family was not involved in politics till much later, as such, even before I got into politics, we were an established industrial family," the prime minister said.

"I want the nation to decide for themselves the reality behind these allegations which are being levelled for the last 25 years," he said.

He said his sons Hassan and Hussain were living in the UK and Saudi Arabia since 1994 and 2000 respectively and working under the legal ambit and rules.

Sharif also challenged all those hurling allegations against him and his family to present evidence of any financial wrongdoing before the commission.

A massive leak of 11.5 million secret tax documents from a Panamanian law firm that specialises in offshore tax havens has exposed the covert offshore dealings of around 140 political figures globally including the Sharif family.

The vast stash of records, covering around 40 years, was obtained from an anonymous source by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with media worldwide by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

Documents on the ICIJ website said Sharif's children — Mariam, Hasan and Hussain — "were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies".

Updated Date: Apr 05, 2016 23:04 PM

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