PM to leave for Turkey tomorrow to seek Erdogan’s advice: sources


ISLAMABAD: As pressure builds up on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over Panama Papers, the premier is said to be travelling to Turkey to seek advice.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will depart on Saturday for a day-long personal visit to meet Turkish President Recep Erdogan,” sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

The prime minister along with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will also attend the wedding ceremony of the Turkish president, the sources added.

Sources said the premier has long admired Erdogan’s tactics in dealing with his country’s dominating army and wants to implement similar strategies on his home soil. The development comes after Army chief General Raheel Sharif was quoted as asking the premier to resolve the Panama Papers issue.

Gen Raheel’s advice came amid an unabated war of words between the government and the opposition on the scope of a judicial inquiry the prime minister has ordered into the Panama leaks.

Sources privy to the closed-door meeting confirmed the army chief told the prime minister that the Panama leaks scandal was affecting national security and creating distraction from more pressing issues faced by the country. Therefore, he advised the premier to resolve the issue at the earliest, sources added.

The government has been under immense pressure since the Panama Papers named three children of PM Nawaz as the beneficiaries of offshore holdings managed by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

On Thursday, the premier postponed his address to the parliament over Panama Papers from Friday to Monday.

This will not be the first time that PM Nawaz will fly out of the country at a time when the leaks issue is at its peak.

Last month, the prime minister left for a week-long visit to London for a “medical check-up”. Opposition parties severely criticised prime minister’s London visit at a time when demands were being made back home for his resignation following Panama Papers leaks.

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