In response to SC on Panamagate petitions, PM denies holding offshore companies

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court resumed hearing of the Panamagate petitions on Thursday.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a written statement denied holding any offshore company. He maintained that he is a regular taxpayer and that none of his children is dependent on him. He added that he had declared all his assets in 2013, so he was not liable for disqualification under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

The apex court on Tuesday during a hearing of petitions moved by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-i-Islami, Awami Muslim League seeking disqualification of the PM after Panamagate, ordered the government and opposition to submit Terms of Reference (ToRs) on the formation of a commission to probe revelations made in the Panama Papers.

The court’s order came just a day before the PTI’s planned Nov 2 ‘lockdown’ of Islamabad, and was followed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan announcing that the party’s siege of the capital would be replaced instead by a ‘thanksgiving’ rally at Islamabad’s parade ground.

The court, according to the PTI’s counsel, said that in the event that both parties do not form a consensus on ToRs, the court itself will decide the terms.

“The commission will report to the Supreme Court,” the apex court said, adding that the commission will hold powers equal to the apex court. The bench also reserves powers to appoint the head and members of the proposed commission.

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