ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Tuesday addressed the nation on radio and television to respond to the allegations leveled against some members of his family in the Panama Papers.
Following are quotes from his speech rendered in Urdu.
– For first time in my life, I am here to speak about a personal matter.
– Certain people are again levelling allegations against me and my family for political objectives.
– Once again the allegations of the past 25 years are being highlighted in the media.
– My father started business from Lahore and set up Ittefaq Foundry before partition, with one wing set up in the former East Pakistan.
– The industrial unit provided employment and paid taxes.
– Following fall of Dhaka on Dec 16, 1971 the East Pakistan wing was lost.
– Govt of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took over Lahore's Foundry on January 2, 1972.
– Hard work and labour of our great family elders vanished in a few moments.
– However it did not deter the determination of my father who, in 18 months time again set up six factories during the Bhutto regime. – This is an unravelled reflection of deep love for the country.
– My father restored the destroyed Ittefaq Foundry that was returned to us in July 1979.
– While none in the family had any political affiliation they continued to add crores of rupees as taxes in the national exchequer.
– We faced victimization while we were miles away from politics and we continued to be personally and politically victimized when we entered into politics.
– We suffered a loss of Rs 50 crore when the ship Jonathan carrying raw material for our factory was not allowed to unload in 1989.
– The loss of Rs 50 crore in 1989 is over Rs 50 billion in today's value.
– In second term of the PPP government again our industrial units were victimized.
– After the take over of a democratic government in 1999 we were kept behind bars for 14 months and our business was destroyed.
– Even our ancestral home in Model Town Lahore was confiscated and we were exiled. – Our industrial units, business, bank accounts were subjected to a cruel accountability.
– Its not wrong to say that we were victim of one-sided victimization for years, but we came out successful from every forum of justice and law and not even a single allegation could be proved.
– During our days of forced exile my father again setup a Steel Mill near Makkah after getting loans from Saudi banks.
– This factory and its assets were sold after few years and resources used by my sons Hassan and Hussain in their new business venture.
– Hassan Nawaz is in London since 1994, while Hussain is in Saudi Arabia since 2000 and doing business according to local laws and regulations.
– Strange that we are criticized if our children seek Halal means of livelihood within the country or if they do so abroad.
– No one who gets money through corruption or has illegal sources sets up companies nor have assets in their names.
– My family paid back around Rs 5.75 billion outstanding loans against our family despite all the odds.
– Not even a single penny of the principal amount or markup against our family was waived off.
– We even paid back the loans, that were not even due on us.
– I nor any member of my family never ever committed dishonesty of even a penny while being in power or otherwise.
– Never ever I linked business and official status.
– I have pledged to take the country of abyss of darkness to new era of progress and development and my entire focus is on this aspect.
– I do not have enough time to respond and give explanations to those who level allegations against me.
– I fully understand the new wave of allegations against me, but I do not wish to waste my energy in this regard.
– Some of my aides advised me not to be part of the issue as both my sons are adults and responsible for their acts.
– Some said since there was no allegation against my person, or any person of my family, of any illegal act or any wrong doing, therefore there was no need to be part of this issue.
– Therefore to sift facts I have decided to set up a high level judicial commission. This will be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
– This Commission after investigation will give its verdict that what are the facts and how much weight the allegations carry.
– I urge all those who repeat their stale allegations to prove these before the Commission.