ECP to hear reference against PM Nawaz today

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will hear the reference filed against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over Panama leaks Wednesday (today).

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Awami Muslim League and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) have filed references against the prime minister, seeking his disqualification.

According to the reports, all four references filed against the prime minister will be heard at the same time.

The PPP has filed a 1000-page reference with the ECP, calling for disqualification of Prime Minister Sharif. The party maintains that Nawaz Sharif had defaulted Rs 6 billion when he filed his nomination papers with the ECP in 2013.

The PTI leader Yasmin Rashid filed a 72-page reference in the ECP calling for the disqualification of the prime minister for hiding his assets.

In the reference of PAT under Articles 62 and 63 that was filed in June, PAT Chairman Tahirul Qadri contended that the loyalty of the prime minister to the state of Pakistan was also doubtful therefore, he must be disqualified.

In July, Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rasheed submitted an application to ECP in which he stated that the Prime Minister was no more qualified to remain a member of the National Assembly.

The political parties filed their petitions individually following a deadlock in talks between opposition parties and government over the terms of reference (ToRs) for the proposed commission to investigate the Panama Papers.

Prime Minister Nawaz has been under pressure since documents released as part of the Panama Papers data leak showed his children owned several offshore companies and used them to buy properties in London.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denies any wrongdoing, so do his children.

Leaked confidential documents spanning over nearly 40 years that spell out the extensive use of tax havens by politicians, world leaders, and celebrities to launder money and evade taxes through one of the most secretive companies the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, had taken the world by storm.

Many Pakistanis have also been named in their revelations.

Read more: ECP to hear reference against PM Nawaz on August 3