Panama leak: EC asks Sharif to reply on disqualification pleas
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was today asked by Election Commission to reply within 20 days on petitions filed by opposition parties seeking his disqualification for hiding information about his alleged offshore wealth revealed by the 'Panama Papers' leak.
The commission asked Sharif to reply by September 6 to the accusations that he had been hiding his offshore wealth.
It also issued notices to Sharif's son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz. The deadline to reply for them too remains the same.
The petitions seeking Sharif's disqualification were filed in June by Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Awami Tehreek and Awami Muslim League.
Sharif has been under fire since the leak of 11 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in April disclosed Sharif's two sons and a daughter owned properties in the UK that were not shown on his family's wealth statement.
The allegations that Sharif hid his offshore wealth to avoid taxes has called his credentials into question.
The allegations had led to panic among the top members of the ruling PML-N party. Sharif had left for London soon after the leak on an unscheduled visit for medical treatment.
He returned to Pakistan after eight weeks and following an open heart surgery on May 31.
Sharif has dismissed the leaks calling it a work of people "targeting me and my family for their political aims". He also suggested that those "who use ill-gotten wealth don't keep assets in their own names".
The 'Panama Papers' - as the leaks came to be known - revealed details of dodgy offshore financial dealings gleaned from millions of leaked documents from the Panamanian firm.