ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek–e-Insaf (PTI) leaders reiterated demand for resignations from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for alleged money laundering, as the damning report by the Panama case JIT revived the opposition’s calls for the PM to step down.
Addressing a press conference in the capital, PTI’s Asad Umar said it was in the best interests of the Prime Minister and Ishaq Dar to resign, given the quagmire they are facing.
“The Prime Minister has been the chairman and paid employee of his son’s company. The documents and affidavits the Sharifs submitted to the JIT proved to be fake,” Umar said, adding that the Sharif clan would not have “faced this embarrassment if the PM had resigned 15 months ago”.
Taking aim at Ishaq Dar, the PTI leader called on the minister to step down from his ministerial position.
“Dar sahib, your statement in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case, given under oath, proved to be true. You appointed your friend as the SECP chairman, and he is now facing an FIR on the Supreme Court’s orders.”
“Do you really want to hold on to your position, Dar sahib? For how long will you keep defending, facilitating looters?” Umar questioned.
The PTI leader then went on to say that Dar, by hurling ‘personal attacks’ at Imran Khan, had instead ended up boosting the PTI chairman’s respect among the public.
“Dar sahib, you said that Imran Khan used to sit outside your office for donations. He did it for the sake of the poor, not for himself,” Umar remarked.
Responding to a question on how the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project might be affected by a regime change, if any, Umar said all political parties support CPEC.
“CPEC is not dependent on any government. China remains the closest friend of Pakistan, irrespective of who is in power here,” he assured.
Taking another jibe at the Sharifs, Umar said in today’s age of social media, it was only a matter of time before someone confirmed from Microsoft that the font Calibri was made available for public use only in 2007, and not before.
The ‘Calibri controversy’ emerged after the JIT report revealed that PM Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz had submitted a declaration regarding offshore companies, Nielsen and Nescoll Limited, dated 2006. The JIT found that the declaration was typed in a font (Calibri) that was not publicly available till 2007.
PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood, also addressing the conference, said the Prime Minister had lost the moral capacity to rule in the aftermath of the revelations by the JIT report.
“I pay tribute to the JIT for their bravery and professionalism. Their efforts in preparing the detailed report are commendable. Anyone who attempts corruption in the future would think 20 times before doing it,” he said.
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