Panama Papers: Will resign if found guilty, Pak PM Nawaz Sharif says in dramatic address to nation
Islamabad: Amidst the ongoing row over the massive leaks over the ‘Panama Papers’ that also named Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the leader took to television on Friday to address the nation, saying he was ready to face any punishment if he was found guilty of corruption.
The Pakistan PM also said he has ordered the formation of an enquiry commission to investigate into the allegations levelled against him and his family members.
In his televised address to the nation after massive uproar over his alleged links to offshore companies in tax havens, which included a demand for his resignation and a thorough probe into the allegations levelled in the Panama Papers leaks, Sharif said his entire life was an open book.
Offering himself and his family for accountability, Sharif said he will step down if the probe commission finds him guilty of corruption. He further said he will approach the Chief Justice of Pakistan regarding the formation of a commission to investigate the allegations.
“I hereby announce to write to the Chief Justice, asking him to lead the judicial commission, which will investigate revelations made in the Panama Papers,” he said.
A set of statements released by the country’s Election Commission on Thursday revealed that Sharif’s assets grew by Rs 1 billion in just one year. The value of the assets owned by Sharif and his spouse comes to around Rs 2 billion.
He does not own any property abroad, the statement added.
The value of his assets in 2011 was Rs 166 million, which swelled to Rs 261.6 million in 2012 and then to Rs 1.82 billion in 2013, making him a declared billionaire.
The Election Commission said that Sharif received over Rs 215 million from his son Hussain Nawaz in 2015. He had previously received remittances from his son, worth Rs 239 million and Rs 197.5 million in 2014 and 2013 respectively.
The Prime Minister owns a Toyota Land Cruiser, gifted to him by an unspecified individual, as well as two Mercedes vehicles, the Dawn reported.
The house he lives in is owned by his mother. He also has multiple foreign and local currency accounts, huge swathes of agricultural land and investments in industrial units such as sugar, textile and paper mills. He also declared, for the first time, ownership of birds and animals worth Rs 2 million.
His wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, has land and a house in Changa Gali, Abbottabad, that is worth Rs 80 million, a bungalow on The Mall in Murree, worth Rs 100 million, as well as shares in the family business.
The statements of assets were released amidst the ongoing controversy around the Panama Papers leak that has reportedly exposed the secret offshore dealings of around 140 political figures globally.
Three of Sharif's children were named in the 'Panama Papers' as having offshore holdings. Sharif's two sons - Hassan and Hussain - live abroad and believed to be billionaires in their own right.
Sharif's son-in-law, retired Captain Mohammad Safdar, has only listed one property and 550 grams of jewellery in the name of his wife, Sharif's daughter Maryam Safdar. Property owned by Safdar, according to the ECP statement, is a BMW car, which was gifted to her by someone in the UAE, while her jewellery is worth Rs 1 million.
(With inputs from PTI)