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Imran Khan threatens protests against Pakistan PM over Panama Papers

Pakistan opposition politician Imran Khan threatened fresh protests against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, saying the leader had lost “moral authority” to rule after the Panama Papers leak had linked his family to offshore wealth.

Imran Khan-AV

Khan has seized on the Panama Papers scandal as a fresh opportunity to try to unseat Sharif. The former cricketing hero staged protests in Islamabad for months in 2014 over alleged electoral fraud but failed to topple the prime minister.

Addressing a crowd of tens of thousands in the capital Islamabad on Sunday, Khan said an inquiry into the Panama Papers proposed by Sharif did not go far enough and demanded international forensic auditors be involved.

“We want a commission that has an offshore branch, that has international investigators,” he told flag-waving supporters at an evening rally. Many had chanted “Go Nawaz, go”.

Leaked documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama this month showed Sharif’s sons Hassan and Hussain, and daughter Maryam, owned at least three offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which studied the papers, said those companies had engaged in at least $25 million in property and acquisition deals.

Sharif has said his children have done nothing illegal, but opponents accuse the family of using the tax haven to launder stolen money and dodge taxes.

Sharif on Friday bowed to opposition demands for a Supreme Court appointed inquiry commission and said he would resign if it found wrongdoing.

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