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Calls echo for Pakistan PM's resignation in light of JIT report

15 July 2017

The PML-N's parliamentary leaders were of the view that foreign directors and internal actors were involved in the conspiracy against Sharif family, and said the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report was a compilation of contradictions.

In a Cabinet meeting in Islamabad, Mr. Sharif said: "I will not resign on the demand of a group of conspirators".

Under pressure after his name first cropped up in a scandal that came to be known as Panamagate, Sharif in a nationwide address on April 5, 2016, declared setting up of a judicial committee led by a retired Supreme Court.

The crisis hit the Sharif family when the Panama Papers disclosed previous year three of Prime Minister Sharif's children owned offshore companies and assets not shown on his family's wealth statement.

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"The controversial report by the controversial JIT is a bundle of baseless allegations of our opponents", Sharif told his party men, who endorsed his decision by a huge applause.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday refused to resign despite demands for his exit in the wake of a damning report by the Panama case probe panel that recommended filing of a graft case against him and his family.

Mr. Sharif will be challenging the JIT report in the Supreme Court.

A leading Pakistani newspaper on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to "do the right thing (in) democracy and step aside, at least temporarily" in view of the corruption charges he faces. The assets surfaced when Panama papers previous year showed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif's children. Pakistan's opposition parties are now calling for Sharif's resignation.

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The identity of the legal beneficiaries has formed part of the probe, and the documents were meant to show that Maryam, who is Sharif's presumptive political heir, was a trustee only. "When the same question is posed to Nawaz Sharif, he says Hassan and Hussain can answer", he said, adding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's work visa was a cause of shame for the entire nation.

"The JIT [Joint Investigative Team] report about our family businesses is the sum of hypotheses, accusations and slander", Sharif said according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, some banners, in support of the prime minister, have also surfaced in his home constituency.

Moazam Butt, 35, also made similar comments, saying: "Nawaz Sharif made Pakistan a nuclear power, and also began the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)". If he were forced to step down, his ruling PML-N party could appoint a new leader as prime minister until the polls.

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Calls echo for Pakistan PM's resignation in light of JIT report