Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday welcomed judicial proceedings in the Panama Papers case as the Supreme Court (SC) issued notices to Nawaz and others.

Earlier in the day, the SC had taken up five petitions, involving the premier and several others. The three-member bench issued notices to the prime minister, his family members and others made party in the constitutional petition.

"I welcome the judicial proceedings in connection with Panama Papers," he said.

In a statement issued after consultation with his legal team, he said, "The court of public opinion has been making decisions, it would be better to wait for the judiciary's decision."

The premier held the opposition responsible for the prolonged delay into investigation of the matter by a judicial commission.

He said that he had not only made his stance on the matter clear in the National Assembly and before the people, but had also announced a commission to probe Panamagate.

The petitions maintain that the premier and his dependants were involved in establishing offshore firms as exposed by the Panama Papers, and that the premier concealed assets of his dependants and also concealed the truth from the National Assembly. It also adds that he is no longer eligible to hold office under Article 62 and 63 of the constitution.

Pakistan People Party leader Khurshid Shah on Wednesday had accused the prime minister of accentuating the crisis by refusing to probe the Panama Papers leaks scandal.

Despite commencement of judicial proceedings in connection with the Panama Papers leaks, PTI chief Imran Khan refused to withdraw his protest call for November 2nd and said that the capital would be locked down as per schedule.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Jamaat-i-Islami, Barrister Zafar­ullah Khan of Watan Party, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Advocate Asad had filed petitions seeking the disqualification of the PM and his family members..

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