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Despite Panama Papers investigation, Nawaz Sharif remains a billionaire

Details released by the Election Commission of Pakistan show the net worth of the PM’s declared assets standing at 1.84 billion Pakistani rupees in 2016.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has retained the status of a billionaire, one he had gained just before becoming the head of the Pakistan government in 2013, a report in The Tribune said on Thursday. Details released by the Election Commission of Pakistan show the net worth of his declared assets standing at 1.84 billion Pakistani rupees (Rs 1.13 billion) in 2016.

Sharif also continues to receive substantial amounts from his son, despite appearing before a Joint Investigation Team in Islamabad which is investigating money laundering allegations against him in the Panama Papers case. The ECP on Thursday released details of statements of accounts and liabilities of Pakistani lawmakers for 2016.

The data shows that assets owned by Sharif and his wife Kulsoom Nawaz amounted to just 1.66 million Pakistani rupees in 2011, but swelled to 1.82 billion Pakistani rupees by 2013, and has remained around 2 billion Pakistani rupees since.

Interestingly, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who has been at the forefront of the opposition to Sharif, also holds assets worth over 1.4 billion Pakistani rupees.

Sharif had on Thursday appeared before the JIT, and was questioned for nearly two hours. Later, he said that he had submitted his financial documents to the JIT, reported Reuters. “It should be noted that these allegations have nothing to do with my tenure as prime minister and are not charges of corruption. They are charges against me and my family on a personal level,” Sharif said attacking his opponents. “My opponents have levied charges of corruption against me. However, neither in the past, nor in the present, have any charges of corruption been proved against me and my family.”

The Pakistan PM then asserted that there will be a “bigger JIT next year, comprising 200 million people”, referring to the 2018 Pakistani elections. He added that he had appeared before the JIT because “we are all equally accountable to the institutions”. Sharif questioned whether any other political family in Pakistan had appeared for the sake of accountability. He also claimed that “some unseen elements were hatching conspiracies against me and democracy, which would damage the country”, reported PTI.

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