Islamabad: Stung by the ‘Panama Papers’ leaks that revealed three of his children own offshore companies and assets not shown on his family’s wealth statement, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday pledged to resign from his post if proven guilty by a high-level probe pannel.
“I will resign from office if proven guilty during the Panama Papers probe. After Allah, I am only answerable to the people of Pakistan,” ANI quoted Sharif as saying.
While addressing the nation over the said issue, he said, “I have decided to write letter to Chief Justice of Pak for forming a commission to probe Panama leaks.”
Nawaz added that the incumbent government has always supported accountability, and has taken steps to make the taxpayers directory public on FBR’s website.
“When I was told that the details of assets of public representatives were removed from the election commission’s website, I took notice of the issue and asked Ishaq Dar to re-issue these details,” elaborated the prime minister, as per Dawn online.
The Pak PM further reiterated that he is only answerable to the people of Pakistan, and not to politicians which indulge in point scoring.
He also requested the media to first confirm facts behind any allegations before bringing it to the public.
He regretted that some elements including those in the media started a propaganda campaign, including character assassination of honourable judges, so that they do not agree to become part of the commission.
Prime Minister Sharif said some elements are inflicting huge losses on the country because of their fascist attitude.
The leaks revealed that three of his children own offshore companies – identified as three British Virgin Islands-based companies Nescoll Ltd, Nielsen Enterprises Ltd and Hangon Property Holdings Ltd, incorporated in 1993, 1994 and 2007 respectively – and assets not shown on his family’s wealth statement.
These companies have reportedly been used to channel funds to acquire foreign assets, including some apartments along Park Lane in London’s Mayfair area.
The Prime Minister has declared his assets worth Rs 1.9 billion, earlier.
This was known after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released the details of assets and liabilities of parliamentarians for the fiscal year 2014-15.
The details submitted by Sharif acknowledged that the total assets owned by him were worth Rs 1.9 billion, while the documents showed that his son Hussain Nawaz had sent him Rs 216 million from abroad, the Express Tribune reported.
The dossier stated that Sharif did not own any property abroad.
He also declared that he owned inherited land in Sheikhupura and Lahore with a total worth of Rs 1.08 billion.
The Prime Minister also owned cars worth Rs 160 million in addition to another property in Lahore valued at Rs 250 million.
Sharif’s wife also owned a bungalow in Murree valued at Rs 100 million, besides having inherited and gifted shares worth Rs 120 million in her name in five sugar, textile and spinning mills.
She also owned birds worth Rs two million and furniture valued at Rs 40 million.
It is mandatory for all parliamentarians to declare assets held by them, their spouses and their dependents under Section 42 (A) of the Representation of Peoples Act of 1976 and Section 25 (A) of the Senate Election Act.
On Tuesday, Shairf had returned to Pakistan after a private visit to Britain, where he had gone ostensibly for health check-ups.
Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan gave the government time till April 24 to take an appropriate action over the issue, after which he added he will announce a future course of action.
Leaked confidential documents, spanning over nearly 40 years that spell out the extensive use of tax havens by politicians, world leaders and celebrities to launder money and evade taxes through one of the most secretive companies the Panamaian law firm Mossack Fonseca, have taken the world by storm.
The documents identify many Pakistani business tycoons and politicians, including late two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as well certain members of Sharif family (excluding Nawaz Sharif and his brother Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif) to have used tax havens to hide their wealth.
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