ISLAMABAD: Leader of the opposition Khurshid Shah lauded the army chief hours after he sacked 12 serving army officers.
“The army chief spoke of accountability for everyone across the board ─ and he began from his home,” said Shah while addressing the media. “Others should also work on accountability in their homes.”
The remark comes as a call for the Prime Minister to address accusations against his family arising from the Panama Papers over the past month.
“Accusations are normal in politics, but the accusations against the Prime Minister are something unique which should be investigated," added Shah.
PML-N's Zubair Umar said that although the army chief's move was laudable, only the PML-N and prime minister should not be targeted. He called for holding "corrupt elements" within the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and PPP accountable as well.
PTI's Shah Mahmood Qureshi appreciated the development, terming the move a signal that Operation Zarb-i-Azb and the war against corruption will not stop. "This action will bring more credibility to the state's security in carrying out an across-the-board operation."
Qamar Zaman Kaira of the PPP said it was time for the PM and his family to come clean regarding the Panama leaks, adding that the opposition parties had "no differences over the initiation of a transparent inquiry". "Things done through consensus take time, and the Panama inquiry will also take some time."
Jamaat-i-Islami's Ameer Sirajul Haq said the civilian leadership should stand united against "economic terrorism" like it stands against militancy and terrorism after Army Public School massacre. He said the government was "still confused about forming a commission over Panama Papers".
Former president Pervez Musharraf also lauded the army chief's action.
Defence analyst Hassan Askari said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other agencies will be pressed to take similar action regarding bureaucracy.
The army chief's actions will have repercussions for civilian institutions and corrupt politicians under the microscope would be probed transparently.
Security analyst Talat Masood said the Army chief has "set an example for politicians to follow" and the decision would "build pressure on politicians as well as the judiciary to root out corruption".
"This decision has come at a time when certain sections were apprehensive about the involvement of Pakistan Army in civilian matters," Masood.
Army officers dismissed from service over 'corruption'
In an unprecedented move, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif dismissed 12 army officers, including a three-star general, from service over alleged corruption on Thursday.
A major general, lieutenant colonel, five brigadiers and a major are among those dismissed from service
Following the investigation conducted by Adjutant Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat on the orders of the army chief, the charged officers were asked to return all earnings accumulated through corruption, the official said, adding that all perks and privileges had been withdrawn from the officers except their pensions.
Panama leaks revelations
An investigation published April 3 by an international coalition of more than 100 media outlets ─ based on 11.5 million records and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from the internal database of Panamaian law firm Mossack Fonseca ─ details how politicians, celebrities and other famous people use banks, law firms and offshore shell companies to hide their assets.
According to documents available on the ICIJ website, the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's children Maryam, Hasan and Hussain "were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies".
The data leak revealed the financial wheelings and dealings of over 200 Pakistanis, including the late Benazir Bhutto, Rehman Malik and other prominent politicians and businessmen.
Nawaz Sharif, in an address to the nation on Tuesday evening announced the constitution of a high-level judicial commission to probe his family for wrongdoing, after the leak revealed his children owned offshore holdings.