Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – President Mamnoon Hussain finally broke his silence on the Panama Papers on Saturday, calling the issue ‘God-sent’.

The president’s statement comes at a time when the most vocal critic of the Sharif family on the Panama leaks controversy, PTI chief Imran Khan was forced to admit owning an offshore company, after relevant details came out in the media on Friday.

Related: Imran Khan admits he owned offshore company

Mamnoon said corruption is the root cause of Pakistan’s biggest problems, adding that there is no need for corrupt people in the country.

Mamnoon Hussain, presidential candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, smiles as he submits his nomination papers for the upcoming presidential election at the High Court in Islamabad July 24, 2013. Pakistan’s ruling party has chosen a former governor of the southern province of Sindh as its presidential candidate, paving the way for a sure shot victory in the presidential polls due to be held on July 30. Mamnoon Hussain, a veteran politician who has been an active member of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) since the sixties, is the front-runner for the president’s office once President Asif Ali Zardari’s term expires in September. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood (PAKISTAN - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

“The issue of Panama Papers is ‘God-sent’, as it will expose many big names,” the president said while addressing a ceremony of Kotri Association of Trade and Industry on Saturday.

Urging the corrupt elite to discontinue their ill practices, the president said: “Corruption has adversely affected every institution of the country and now there is need to launch collective efforts to eliminate this menace.”.

Mamnoon said youth constitute fifty to sixty percent of the population and they should come forward in the fight against corruption.

The massive leak about the offshore companies of politicians and businessmen also named three children of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The leaks kicked up a new controversy surrounding the Prime Minister and his family, leading opposition parties to demand investigations into Nawaz and several other members of the Sharif family.

However, the revelation of Imran Khan’s offshore company has provided government ministers with an opening to shift the debate by leveling tit-for-tat allegations against the PTI chief, who, til now, enjoyed an image of incorruptibility within the Pakistani public.