Pakistan opposition parties urge PM to quit amid allegations

Sharif family's tax returns turned out to be handy for JIT

Maryam Nawaz Sharif, daughter and political heir to Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif, 67, serving his third term as prime minister, faces opposition calls to step down but he was defiant in his condemnation of the report that alleges his family's income from business was not large enough to explain its wealth.

Shehbaz Sharif was of the opinion that Prime Minister should focus on fighting the case and clearing his name.

Sharif and her legal team responded by saying that although Calibri was not commercially released until 2007, it was created, copyrighted and made available to a limited degree in previous years.

The plush apartments are at the heart of the case against the Sharif family, with authorities and the opposition questioning the legitimacy of funds used to buy them via offshore companies.

Nawaz Sharif had, yesterday, chaired a consultative meeting of his party leaders during which it was decided that he will not resign over the Panama controversy. It said that Calibri font was used in documents that were showed to be from 2006, whereas the font was not publicly available until January 2007.

Three of Sharif's four children - Maryam and his sons Hasan and Hussein - were implicated in the papers.

New concerns have arisen that Sharif's daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, falsified documents, and Microsoft's default font was the tip off.

If the SC decides to implement the report, perhaps by next week, Sharif might either be removed or, at the very least, be rendered completely ineffectual.

The JIT, in its report, highlighted that Sharif was "non-committal" about two letters furnished to the Supreme Court by the former Qatari prime minister about financial dealing.

"He has been declared a criminal of this country so what morality does he have to sit in the prime minister's seat anymore", Imran Khan, leader of the country's main opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told reporters shortly after the JIT report was released.

It started in April 2016 when more than 11 million documents from the secret files of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca with its list of worldwide clientele was leaked out.

Responding to the allegations, Sharif said, "The JIT report about our family businesses is the sum of hypotheses, accusations and slander". "One group wants the PM to resign while the other wants confrontation", he said, adding there was a lot of evidence in the JIT report to declare Nawaz Sharif ineligible for the public office.

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