Imran Khan threatens fresh sit-in against Sharif over Panama papers

Lahore: Pakistan’s opposition Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has threatened to hold another massive sit-in against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying he cannot escape accountability for “money laundering” in the wake of Panama papers leak.

“I will bring out at least 10 per cent population of Pakistan (18 million out of 182 million) on roads to ensure that Nawaz Sharif could not escape accountability process for money laundering,” Khan said at a fund-raiser Iftar-dinner of the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital here yesterday.

Documents released as part of the Panama Papers leak showed Sharif’s children owned several off-shore companies and used them to buy properties abroad. Sharif and his children have denied any wrongdoings.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in 2014 had held months long sit-in in Islamabad against the alleged rigging in 2013 general election, demanding Nawaz’s resignation.

The government had formed a judicial commission to probe the matter which ruled out any “systematic rigging” by any state institution.

“Earlier, the PTI had come out on roads and staged months-long long sit-in to hold vote audit in just four constituencies but now the enraged nation will come out on roads to hold the prime minister accountable,” Khan said.

The cricketer-turned-politician criticised four members of the Election Commission of Pakistan, who retired recently, saying if his party came to power, he would try them under relevant provisions of law for their alleged role in “stealing” the mandate of the masses in connivance with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Khan also challenged Sharif and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to prove any irregularity or misuse of charity funds by the Shaukat Khanum hospital.

“If they prove any irregularity, I will resign, but if they fail they will have to resign from their positions,” he said.

He also dismissed the PML-N’s allegation that the PTI was trying to derail democracy in the country.

“My party would have never staged the 126-day sit-in in 2014 if the PML-N government had accepted its demand of opening four constituencies for vote audit. As events unfolded over the past three years, the election fraud in all these four constituencies had been confirmed,” Khan added.