ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) claimed on Thursday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had cleared himself in the Panama Papers case.
They accused Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan of being involved in money laundering and tax evasion and misleading the parliament through his misstatement about his properties in London and Islamabad.
“After today’s argument by his lawyer, the prime minister has cleared himself in the Panama Papers case and now his case is no more under trial,” said Adviser to the PM Musaddiq Malik in a press conference held on Thursday at the Press Information Department (PID).
He was accompanied by PML-N leader Danial Aziz.
Mr Malik said the prime minister’s lawyer had replied to all allegations levelled against Mr Sharif and now replies on allegations against Maryam Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, children of Mr Sharif, were being given in the apex court.
The adviser said the PTI had failed to present before the court any evidence to substantiate its allegations against the prime minister and his family regarding money laundering.
Imran Khan says Sharif family has assigned loyalists the task of maligning him daily
Mr Aziz said that the PTI chief, not the prime minister had lied to the nation regarding his assets and taxes.
He used video clips and tax returns of Mr Khan and tried to prove that the PTI chief had given contradictory statements regarding his local and offshore properties before the parliament, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue.
Mr Aziz said Mr Khan had said in the parliament that he had no money abroad and that he had brought all his wealth to Pakistan in 1987.
“However, according to Mr Khan’s assets declaration he sold his London flat in 2003,” he said.
He said Mr Khan had claimed that his Banigala property was earlier purchased by his former wife Jamima Khan and later she had gifted it to him.
“If the property belonged to even his ex-wife, then why Mr Khan had not mentioned it in the tax returns he filed in 2002,” he added.
Mr Aziz said Mr Khan had earlier said that he had paid money for the purchase of Banigala property to his ex-wife in 2002 by selling his flat in London. However, in assets declaration filed before the ECP he claimed that he sold his flat in 2003. “If he sold his London flat in 2003 then from where he paid to his ex-wife for his Banigala property,” he asked.
Mr Aziz said the PTI chairman would have to answer to the nation about the money trail for the purchase of his assets.
Meanwhile, the PTI chief said in a separate press conference that the Sharif family had assigned some of its loyalists the task of maligning him daily.
“Maryam Nawaz inquires every day with Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Danyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry that whether or not they have abused Imran Khan today.”
But, he added, by maligning him on a daily basis PML-N leaders could not save the prime minister.
Mr Khan said he called the prime minister and his loyalists dacoits because they had plundered wealth of the nation. What I should call them, if not dacoits, he asked.
The PTI leader said if the prime minister and his family had accepted that they owned the four flats in London then they should provide the money trail for their purchase.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2017