Pakistan PM says to resign if found guilty in Panama Papers probe

Pakistan PM says to resign if found guilty in Panama Papers probe
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the nation at his office in Islamabad.
PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday pledged to resign if a probe related to the Panama Papers tax scandal found his family had committed any wrongdoing.

Three of Sharif's children were named in a vast leak of documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca this month that has revealed how the wealthy hide their money.

The premier has announced a probe into the revelations contained in the Panama Papers, which claim his children owned London property through an offshore company.

His daughter, Maryam, who has been tipped to be his political successor, was named along with his sons Hasan and Hussain.

Sharif defended his family on television Friday, saying the claims had been investigated twice, decades ago, under the tenure former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

He also pledged to create a new judicial commission headed by a retired judge to investigate the allegations, after his first proposal was rejected by lawmakers.

"If the allegations levelled against me any my family members are proved, I will resign without any delay," he said.

"I hereby announce (I will) write to the chief justice, asking him to lead the judicial commission, which will investigate revelations made in the Panama Papers." Allegations of corruption are particularly sensitive for Pakistan's government, which is receiving a $6.6 billion (S$8.9 billion) bailout package from the IMF.

Sharif has come under pressure over the claims, and last week a member of the public called him "useless" and put him up for sale on eBay - with bids soaring to more than $90,000.

The post, which went viral in Pakistan, promised to throw in Sharif's brother Shahbaz, the current governor of Punjab province, for free.

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