The lawyers of Pakistan’s higher and lower courts on Wednesday held nationwide protests against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seeking his resignation. the protests were held after a joint investigation team (JIT) probing Panam papers leak case accused Sharif and his family of evading tax by setting up offshore companies to purchase high-end properties in London.
The protests against Sharif were called by the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association along with Pakistan’s top lawyers. The courts, where protests were organized did not hear any case.
However, the Supreme Court of Pakistan continued with its proceedings, including hearing the Panama Papers leaks case. The protests also partially disrupted the proceedings of Lahore high Court.
Bar Council Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon said the lawyer community has expressed solidarity with the Supreme Court and asked Sharif to step down.
The organisations have urged Sharif to “honorably” resign as he has “lost the moral and legal authority” to continue in his office.
“We have requested the Supreme Court to take the Panama Papers case to its logical end and disqualify the prime minister and other public office-holders declared guilty of corruption in the JIT report.”
Pakistan PM, however, said “those asking for my resignation have been rejected by the nation multiple times” and complained that he had never been allowed to complete his tenure and this is the first time he has completed four years.
Apart from Sharif, the bar councils have also sought the resignation of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the prime minister’s son-in-law Muhammad Safdar.
(With PTI inputs)