ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is requested to ask Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down until an investigation into his offshore financial interests is complete, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Friday.
“It is time for the Supreme Court to take action and ask the PM to resign as the [Panama Papers] Joint Investigation Team [JIT] will not otherwise be able to continue functioning freely and independently.” Institutions, Imran added, are being controlled by the premier and he would not let an independent probe take place.
Nawaz’s sons Hasan and Hussain are being probed to record their statements relating to the former’s alleged offshore wealth. The team, comprising members from several investigative agencies, has been given two months by the top court to complete investigation.
According to PTI chairman, verbal attacks by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) aimed at the JIT including the one by Nehal Hashmi, had proven that they were trying to make it controversial.
“[PML-N] first felicitated constitution of the team, then discredited it, and now they could move towards boycotting it,” Imran said. “The rulers can clearly see that they cannot influence the JIT.”
The PML-N, he continued, has realised that the Qatari prince’s refusal to appear in the case has ruined their evidence, which was based on lies.
The rulers have never been held accountable and once again want to evade the course of law. “The PML-N is applying all tactics to influence the team investigating the scandal.”
Imran went on to claim that the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is Ishaq Dar’s special aide. “How will they let the JIT probe the matter,” he questioned.
The PML-N is also giving an impression that Hussain Nawaz is being mistreated “as a child”. “[Hussain] is not a child and is facing, alongside his family, serious charges of money laundering, corruption and concealment of assets,” he maintained.
“Government is spin-doctoring as far as Hussain Nawaz’ appearance before the team is concerned,” Imran said while referring to the recently ‘leaked’ photo of the premier’s son.
Responding to another question about a PML-N worker’s statement that he will move the court for constitution of a JIT to probe Imran’s own assets, PTI chairman said the entire money trail of his financial assets were available with the court.
PTI chairman said he had asked his party members to take to streets to express solidarity with the apex court. “PML-N have attacked the apex court in the past, they can do it again as they can foresee their defeat,” he said. “The nation, not the rulers, is ready to accept the verdict of the top court.”
“I have asked my party workers to be prepared as the PML-N can resort to a physical attack on the institution following verbal attacks.”
“I am going to prove a dangerous man for Nawaz Sharif and PML-N and they should rightly be scared of me,” Imran said while responding to a question.
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