Pakistani Opposition Urges PM To Quit Amid Corruption Allegations
Opposition parties have urged Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down after a Supreme Court investigation into corruption allegations against his family members found “significant disparity” between their declared wealth and known sources of income.
Sharif has been under pressure since documents leaked last year from a Panama-based law firm disclosed that his family had offshore accounts. Following the leak, a team of investigators appointed by the Supreme Court in April investigated Sharif’s family assets in London and offshore wealth abroad.
In their July 10 report, which was leaked to the media, investigators allege Sharif’s family accumulated wealth far above its earnings, and say his children, including heir-apparent Maryam Sharif, signed falsified documents designed to mask the truth.
Opposition leader Imran Khan said Sharif had “lost all moral authority” and must resign immediately. Sirajul Haq, the leader of right-wing opposition Jamaat-e Islami party, also demanded Sharif’s resignation.
Sharif’s allies have dismissed all the allegations against him and the report. “It’s trash,” said Defense Minister Asif Khawaja, adding that the report was “full of flaws.”
Sharif has denied wrongdoing and said his family’s wealth was acquired legally.
The report suggests that courts pursue action based on a 1999 accountability law intended to help eliminate corruption. But the final decision rests with the Supreme Court, which will take up the case on July 17.
Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.