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Panama Paper case: Pakistan Army distances itself from Nawaz Sharif Panamagate controversy

Panama Paper case: Pakistan Army distances itself from Nawaz Sharif Panamagate controversy

The top court took up the case in October previous year on petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami Muslim League and Jamaat-e-Islami and reserved the verdict in February after conducting hearings on a daily basis.

The Supreme Court is due to start a hearing on Monday into graft allegations leveled against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his children. "The report is a pack of lies", Sharif said, following the conclusion of the JIT investigation.

In the 9th Volume of its 256-page report, the six-member panel reveals that wealth of the fortunes of the ruling family's patriarch, the late Mian Muhammad Sharif, had multiplied 4.3 times from Rs7.53 million to Rs32.15 million, but his source of income is not commensurate with the increase in his assets. The party leaders and spokespersons were also briefed about the stance on Panama case.

Sharif was not named in the Panama Papers leak, but his three adult children were linked to numerous offshore accounts that also owned luxury apartments in London's exclusive Mayfair area.

Pakistan Army's spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that the joint investigation team was formed by Supreme Court, "which did its job honestly". Earlier, the Joint Investigation Team constituted to probe the Panama Papers case submitted its report before the bench last Monday.

A corruption case against Pakistan's first family has tipped the country into political turmoil ahead of elections next year. Going by the available reports, it is likely that Sharif's family made money and used that money to acquire - legally or otherwise - business interests overseas, as indicated in Panama Papers. The PPP is calling for Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) to replace Sharif with a new Prime Minister till fresh elections can be held.

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Prime Minister should, therefore, have faith in the Bench and keep his cool otherwise Pakistan can face chaos and anarchy. Finance minister Ishaq Dar, related to Sharif by marriage, also filed objections to the JIT's report.

The report also found respondents guilty of being beneficial owners of multiple offshore companies and recommended initiation of reference against Sharif and his family members in the National Accountability Bureau.

The extremely detailed report was drafted by five investigators, including representatives from the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) and the Corps of Military Intelligence (MI), with the support of foreign lawyers, forensic experts and global financial authorities. However, the family wants to retain him as Sharif's counsel.

Pakistan as a country has seen a number of army-led coups, with Sharif himself being the target of a coup when General Musharraf ousted his second government in 1999. "Army has no role in the process".

Reports had claimed that the army is part of a controversy to remove the civilian government.

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