LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that his party will organise a ‘long march’ to the Sharif family’s Raiwind residence to protest against its undeclared assets and offshore companies and called upon the party workers, as well as those belonging to PML-N and PPP, to join the march.

“This time Raiwind, Lahore, instead of the D-Chowk, Islamabad,” Mr Khan said.

He, however, did not give the exact date for the march.

Speaking to media persons after a meeting with party lawmakers of the Punjab Assembly at the Chairman’s Secretariat on Friday, the PTI chief said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had lost the moral ground to rule after disclosure about his family’s offshore companies, adding that Mr Sharif should have resigned just like the prime minister of Iceland who quit after his name appeared in the scandal.

Mr Khan said he wanted to mobilise the nation against the corrupt who were looting the country’s wealth and transferring it to their foreign accounts. “All Pakistanis should know that now is the decisive moment to protest against the Sharif family’s offshore companies and other mega financial scandals and force the government to hold an independent, credible and transparent investigation into the scam,” Mr Khan said.

He said that the Sharif family and others took their money abroad either to evade taxes or to protect their black money. He said the country’s debt had risen to Rs21 trillion from Rs5trn over the last one decade, adding that this situation was leading to imposition of new taxes and economic murder of farmers and common people belonging to low-income groups.

He said Mr Sharif should himself defend his case instead of allowing his ‘courtiers’ to do the job and asked the prime minister’s son to explain how he got Rs6.5 billion worth of house in the Hyde Park, London.

Mr Khan condemned Mr Sharif for allegedly lying to people that successive governments had committed excesses against his family and said if the prime minister was right then how despite these excesses, his family still managed to establish an empire worth billions of rupees.

He said the PTI would continue its struggle for setting up of an independent commission under the Chief Justice of Pakistan to investigate the white-collar crime.

He said that forensic experts should be included in the commission as India had done.

Answering a question, he criticised the PTV management for not airing opposition leaders’ speeches in the National Assembly on the Panama Papers and said the PTV was not the PML-N’s property and propaganda cell, but a national institution being run by people’s money.

“Since Nawaz Sharif addressed the nation on the PTV to explain his position, I, being the head of the second largest party in the country, reserve the right to address the nation and explain to people the other side of the picture,” the PTI chief said.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2016

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