Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi, who threatened “those investigating” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons in the Panama Papers case, had to lose his party membership on Wednesday after a meeting with the premier himself.

“A show-cause notice has also been issued to the senator,” said Dr Asif Kirmani, the adviser to Prime Minister on Political Affairs.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hashmi was called at the PM House where he held a meeting with Mr Nawaz Sharif over an inflammatory speech against Panama investigators.

“We have also demanded his (Hashmi’s) resignation from Senate,” State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said, in a statement.

Later, Hashmi tendered his resignation to Chairman Senate.

The PML-N stalwart had lashed out on the members of Panama Joint Investigation Team, warning them of grave consequences for probing Sharif family over offshore assets mentioned in Panama Papers.

Hussain Nawaz, the elder son of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday had appeared before the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case. He was grilled by the JIT members for almost five hours at the National Judicial Academy.

Following Hussain’s meeting, PML-N leaders held a press conference, accusing two members of the JIT of harassing him during the probe.

In a video in which he appears to be addressing supporters, Hashmi warned: “Those who are scrutinising them [Sharif and his sons], we will not spare you.”

“Those grilling… [be warned that] we will arrange the day of judgment for you.”

“You are making the life of the prime minister difficult. The Pakistani nation will make it difficult for you to live,” he added, without taking any names.

Hashmi’s remarks were met with strong criticism from opposition leaders.

Denouncing Hashmi’s statement, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said the PML-N senator’s “shameful threats to superior judiciary and JIT members” are representative of the party’s political culture.

“They either buy people or try to scare them,” Khan said in a tweet, accusing the ruling party of employing strong-arm tactics.

PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said, “Some government workers are trying to jeopardise the processes of accountability.”

Opposition leader Khursheed Shah said that the institutions have been threatened. “The Opposition will demand that Nehal Hashmi should be de-seated,” he added.

The threatening of the JIT members is beyond reason, he said, adding that ‘hooliganism would not be allowed’.