PM should better dissociate himself from family businesses

PRIME Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has become the first major casualty of the tremor caused by Panama papers while pressure is mounting on European leaders and two retired judges of the Supreme Court would probe allegations in India. In the case of Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose family is being named in the leaked papers, has mustered courage to announce formation of a high level Judicial Commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court to investigate allegations of corruption against his family. He asked critics to appear before the Commission and substantiate their claims.
Though some opposition leaders have rejected the decision to institute an inquiry headed by a retired SC judge on different pretexts but we are sure it will thoroughly probe the matter and come out with concrete findings. The nation would eagerly await its outcome and the sanity demands the opposition too should not jolt the boat and instead cooperate with the Commission. It would not be in the interest of anyone including the opposition to destabilize the on-going democratic system or hinder the march forward on the path of economic progress. However, in our view, the logic demands that the Prime Minister should immediately disengage himself from the family business to save his own reputation and that of his family. His sons and other family members, of course, are fully entitled to do business and there was absolutely no justification to raise any objection to their legitimate right of engaging in any legal business activity at home or abroad. As has been explained by Mian Nawaz Sharif himself during his address to nation, the family business was targeted during tenure of different governments despite the fact that businesses of Sharif family provided employment opportunity to thousands besides contribution to the national exchequer and growth of the national economy. Sharifs, being a known business family, cannot be expected to wind up their activities just to please critics. However, owing to the demand of the principle of conflict of interest and for the sake of transparency, the Prime Minister, being chief executive of the country, should dissociate himself from all family businesses. Mian Nawaz Sharif has the unique honour of being elected the Prime Minister for the third time and must not allow anything to eclipse his personal stature or interest of the party.

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