LAHORE - Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said yesterday his party would not support corruption and continue to pressurise Premier Nawaz Sharif to come clean on corruption charges.

“We have always supported the Parliament but cannot support corruption in any way,” he said while talking to reporters after chairing a party meeting here.

Raja asked Sharif to resign and face inquiry instead of holding public meetings. “Situation will deteriorate with the public meetings,” he warned, and added that prime minister was deflecting public attention from the real issue.  

He affirmed that opposition’s demand for prime ministers’ resignation was justified because it was a prerequisite to fair investigations. “The prime minister is under moral obligation to resign and present himself for accountability,” Raja observed.

The former prime minister said that corruption allegations against the Sharif family had not come from the political opponents. It was rather an issue which had been raised at the international level against the ruling elite in different countries, he added.

“If any of the PPP leaders has been mentioned in the Panama Papers for his involvement in corruption, the government should open his case immediately and prove the charges,” he challenged. 

To a question, he said there should be a fair investigation into the Panama leaks irrespective of whether it would be carried out by the judiciary or the parliament.

Answering another question, Raja said government was under-estimating the strength of the opposition. “If they are judging the opposition by its size, they are mistaken,” he warned. “Let’s see what happens next. It is just a beginning now,” he added.

Rejecting government’s assertion that opposition wanted to stop the wheel of progress through politics of agitation, Raja said: “If we are in the government and cases are framed against us, it has no impact on the progress. And if they are in the government and asked to face corruption charges, the pace of development gets affected,” he commented.