Pakistan Supreme Court hears Panama leaks case

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

PAKISTAN’S Supreme Court has heard the de­fence’s ar­gu­ments in the Panama Papers case in­volv­ing mem­bers of the prime min­is­ter’s fam­ily, while marches are staged by hun­dreds of peo­ple across Islamabad de­mand­ing Nawaz Sharif’s res­ig­na­tion.

The court yes­ter­day di­rected all the re­spon­dents to sub­mit their com­ments to form a com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the Panama Papers leaks be­fore ad­journ­ing the hear­ings, which will re­sume to­mor­row, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia re­ports.

A pe­ti­tion filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) party has lev­elled cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions at Sharif and his fam­ily and de­manded an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sheikh Rasheed, of the PTI-al­lied Awami Mus­lim League, has de­manded that a com­mis­sion be formed to fol­low up the mat­ter.

An­other pe­ti­tion was filed by the Ja­maat-e-Is­lami de­mand­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into all Pak­istani com­pa­nies named in the Panama Papers.

The hear­ing co­in­cides with days of anti-govern­ment protests led by the op­po­si­tion politi­cian Im­ran Khan. He called for a shut­down of Islamabad to­day, to pres­sure Nawaz Sharif to re­sign, but re­ports yes­ter­day sug­gested that he had backed down.

In­stead of the protest, Khan said that he would hold a “cel­e­bra­tory” rally, fol­low­ing a de­ci­sion by the Supreme Court to pur­sue a case linked to Sharif.

“On the Supreme Court’s ad­vice, we have de­cided that to­mor­row we will thank God and cel­e­brate a day of thanks at [Islamabad’s] pa­rade ground,” Khan told me­dia.

Ka­mal Hy­der, re­port­ing from Islamabad, said scuf­fles re­sumed be­tween Im­ran Khan sup­port­ers and po­lice yes­ter­day, how­ever the govern­ment man­aged to stop the pro­test­ers march­ing to­wards the city by block­ing roads with con­tain­ers and by us­ing tear gas.

“The court, which also took up the hear­ing of Panama data leaks that im­pli­cate [Sharif] and his fam­ily, has asked both sides to come to an agree­ment to re­pose con­fi­dence in the court, after which there is a like­li­hood of a ju­di­cial com­mis­sion be­ing formed,” he said. “How­ever, we are not sure if that would be enough to stop Im­ran Khan’s march aim­ing at lock­ing down Islamabad.” — Al Jazeera

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