The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday ordered a probe into the Panama Papers scandal against PM Nawaz Sharif involving allegations of corruption. The Pakistani SC heard quite a few petitions by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) among others for the investigation of PM Sharif and his family under corruption charges. The Panama Papers, that saw the light of the day earlier this year had shown that Sharif and his family own offshore companies and assets. The 5-member SC bench was headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and conducted the hearing in the presence of several cabinet ministers, lawyers and senior PTI leaders.
The SC said that it was prepared for the appointment of a commission, chaired by a judge with the powers of the Supreme Court. The apex court also asked the petitioners to submit their Terms of Reference for the panel. The court also said that it was willing to have hearings every day. However, it id not ban the PTI protest on Wednesday, though it did advise the government and the opposition to show restraint. PTI chief Imran Khan reacted happily to the SC’s decision and said that the anti-government rally on Wednesday would be known as thanksgiving in Pakistan. Khan, who was addressing a press conference in Bani Gala, asked his supporters to go home and rest. He said that they would have to return to the national capital on Wednesday to celebrate thanksgiving on the Parade Ground.
The PTI had earlier declared a rally in Islamabad to force PM Nawaz Sharif to resign in order for a fair probe to happen. The Panama Papers state that three of Sharif’s four children. namely, Maryam, Hasan and Hussain were reported to be the owners of various offshore companies or had the right to authorise transactions for several other companies. Sharif and his family on previous occasions have dismissed the allegations of corruptions but independent probes have repeatedly been demanded by opposition parties in the past.