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Pakistan PM proposes Panama Papers probe in parliament, opposition walks out

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked parliament on Monday to form a commission to investigate allegations stemming from thePanama Papers leak but opposition lawmakers walked out, saying he had evaded questions about his family’s affairs.

Sharif has been under pressure since documents released as part of the Panama Papers data leak showed his children owned several off-shore companies and used them to buy properties in London. He denies wrongdoing, as do his children.

The opposition has seized on the Panama Papers scandal as a fresh opportunity to try to unseat Sharif, who told parliament that his wealth was acquired legally in the decades before he entered politics and no money was siphoned offshore.

“I can say with surety that … not a single penny went out of Pakistan,” Sharif told the parliament.

Sharif asked the opposition and other lawmakers to help form a parliamentary commission.

Previous efforts to have a retired or sitting Supreme Court judge chair a judicial commission have stalled as all the judges rejected the offer.

It is not clear if the opposition will take up Sharif’s latest offer. They walked out soon after Sharif stopped speaking, angered that seven questions they posed to him ahead of the parliamentary session were not answered.

“Not a single question has been answered by the PM,” said Khursheed Shah, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.

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