ISLAMABAD - Amidst the barrage of criticism over Panama Papers revelations and demand of high-profile probe into the matter from all and sundry Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to leave for United Kingdom tomorrow (Wednesday).

Spokesman of the prime minister said the premier, who cancelled all his official engagements and scheduled visit to Turkey, will leave for London for his ‘long overdue medical check-up’.

Interestingly, the elder son of the prime minister, Hussain Nawaz left for London through Abdu Dhabi on Monday. According to media reports, his second son, Hassan Nawaz, is already in London where the two will join their father.

Observers are interpreting the PM’s visit to London in the background of the pressure coming on PML-N government after the disclosures about the offshore companies of his children— Hassan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

Apparently in a coincidence, the main man making things difficult for Sharif family on Panama leaks issue – PTI chief Imran Khan – is also going to London on Thursday for a ‘fundraiser’, according to party sources.

Prime Minister Nawaz was due in federal capital on Monday where he was to hold consultations with his political and legal aides on handling of Panama Papers revelations and the onslaught he, his family and his government is facing both on political and legal fronts, but he did not arrive here and throughout the day it was kept secret due to the reasons best known to the ruling party.

The officials in PM media office remained mum over the issue for the whole day and even did not release any press statement about a detailed meeting of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, a brother of PM Nawaz, with Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan at PM House.

The two PML-N heavyweights discussed current political situation with specific reference to tackling the mounting criticism on the prime minister and the proposed agitation plan of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in coming days, according to sources.

Earlier on Sunday night the prime minister’s media announced cancellation of his day-long visit to Tharparkar and Karachi and now his two-day visit to Turkey, where he was to attend the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit scheduled to be held in Istanbul on April 14-15, has also been postponed on health grounds. The PM would fly out to London for his long overdue medical checkup, stated a brief media release by his media office.

Parliamentary sources said that the decision of the prime minister to go for his medical checkup at such a critical time would not go well with the ruling PML-N and would add to the suspicions about the allegations leveled against the Sharif family due to spinning of the matter into delay by the ruling party.

Ruling party sources said that while staying back at his Riwind residence the prime minister remained fully connected and engaged with the senior party leaders and legal aides in Islamabad discussing with them various options on handling the situation.

As the party leaders and legal brains of the party were divided over the formation of probe commission under the serving and retired judge and the discussion remained inconclusive, the matter was deferred for the time being to see the mood of the opposition parties which seemed almost unanimous on their demand of formation of the judicial commission under the supervision of incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan instead of some retired judge of the apex court.

Sources said that the prime minister assigned the task to his brother Shehbaz Sharif to decide how to go about the issue after consultation with senior party leaders and legal aides.

They said that the matter of PTI’s decision to go with its plan of holding public rally to mark its 20th founding day at F-9 Park in defiance of government’s ban also figured in the discussions and it was decided to deal with PTI sternly this time and use force if required to assert the government writ.

Sources further informed The Nation that most likely the government would cave in to the opposition parties’ demand of a probe commission headed by a serving judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan but before going into that it would be requiring to frame its terms of reference on which the government team has already initiated work.

These sources said that most likely a team headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar or Law Minister Zahid Hamid would be constituted to approach the opposition parties’ leaders for devising the terms of reference, which would be acceptable to all, for the proposed probe commission.

Some PML-N insiders informed that Dar is already in contact with some mainstream opposition parties leaders and in a next couple of days some breakthrough was expected on the modus operandi of the probe.

Sources further said that government was actually panicked over the apparent unity of the opposition parties on forming a probe commission under CJP or at least a serving SC judge, instead of the one announced by PM under a retired judge.