Panamagate returns to haunt Nawaz Sharif

JIT set up by Pak SC finds his family has accumulated wealth far above their earnings and his children have signed falsified documents to mask the truth

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Pic/AFP
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Pic/AFP

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was fighting for his political future on Tuesday after judicial investigators ruled his family had accumulated unusual wealth, with his allies denouncing the findings and vowing he would clear his name.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT), set up by the Supreme Court to investigate corruption allegations that surfaced following the Panama Papers leak, spent two months looking into the family’s wealth and gave its finding to the court on Monday.

In their report, which has been leaked to media, the team alleges Sharif’s family accumulated wealth far above its earnings, and says 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.

But Sharif’s allies dismissed all the allegations against him and the report. Sharif, the son of an industrialist, has denied wrongdoing and said his family’s wealth was acquired legally. In April, the Supreme Court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to remove Sharif from office – by a split 2-3 verdict – but it ordered further investigations, which the JIT was set up to carry out. The team recommended the anti-corruption National Accountancy Bureau (NAB) file a case against Sharif. The SC will decide how to proceed and whether to call for a trial.

Daughter submitted false documents: JIT
The Panamagate JIT has accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Sharif of presenting fake documents to the probe team, which it said is a criminal offence. The JIT said Maryam, her brothers Hussain and Hassan Nawaz as well as her husband Captain Mohammad Safdar (Retd.), had signed false documents to mislead the Supreme Court.

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