Panama Papers probe: Pakistan's top court issues notice to PM Sharif?

Nawaz Sharif is being constantly attacked by the opposition over his links to Panama Papers. Photograph:( Getty )

Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan Oct 20, 2016, 08.53 AM (IST)

Pakistan's Supreme Court today issued notice to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case.

Apart from Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Capt (R) Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, director general Federal Investigation Agency, chairman Federal Board of Revenue, and the attorney general were also issued the notice, Pakistan daily, the Dawn reported. 

The Panama Papers refers to an investigation conducted by the International Consortium of International Journalists, and 107 media outlets from over 80 countries from around the world, which examined 11.5 million leaked documents showing how the rich and powerful avail themselves of offshore tax havens, in this case in Panama, to reduce their tax burden. There were also descriptions of elaborately complex shell companies set up with the same aim.

The Panama Paper contained revelations of various celebrities and politicians, and the journalists were careful to note that being named in the Papers does not necessarily mean that they were guilty of anything illegal. But nonetheless, protests in the wake of the Panama Paper revelations forced the Prime Minister of Iceland to resign, and caused other upheavals and embarassment around the world.

While the Panama Papers was a major story when it first broke, back in early April of 2016, the total amount of leaked data was so vast, and the information in it was so convoluted, that revelations from them is still emerging.

According to the daily, a three-judge apex court bench, constituting of  Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, heard the petitions seeking Sharif's disqualification. The hearing, however, was adjourned for two weeks.

After the hearing, PTI chief Imran Khan talked to reporters and vowed to bring "king" Sharif under law. 

He requested the SC for speedy trial of the case and said the court hearing was the first step in the accountability process.



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