ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will chair a heavy-agenda meeting of the federal cabinet today as the opposition mounts pressure on the government over the Panama leaks issue.

Officials said the PM was expected to task his ministers to counter the opposition’s moves and highlight the government’s achievements to defuse public interest in the anti-government campaigns.

An official statement only said the cabinet meeting will discuss political situation and ongoing development projects in the country. The meeting will also review Panama leaks issue and progress on China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, it added.

Prime Minister Sharif is under immense pressure since early April after millions of confidential documents from the Panamanian Mossack Fonseca law firm have been published, reportedly showing how the company helped rich and powerful clients across the world with shady businesses.

Yesterday, the Election Commission of Pakistan issued notices to Prime Minister Sharif and other leaders of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) named by four political parties regarding the Panama leaks issue. PM Sharif and the other party leaders will have to submit their response over the allegations on September 6.

References filed by opposition parties regarding the disqualification of PM Sharif and the members of his family after them being named in the Panama Papers were heard earlier in the day.

The ECP also issued notices to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Hamza Shehbaz and Mohammed Safdar in this regard.

The opposition parties have also submitted references in the National Assembly seeking the Prime Minister’s disqualification, alleging that he had concealed details of his assets in the nomination papers submitted for 2013 general elections. 

Official sources said the PM wanted to devise a strategy to counter the opposition’s criticism. “He will also discuss performance of the ministers at the meeting to improve working,” said an official.

The agenda, he said, was a quite heavy with the political tension at the top. “The Panama leaks, the low presence of the ministers in the parliament, the opposition’s anti-government campaign, the ECP notices and the development projects will be discussed among other issues,” he added.

Another official said the tension with India will also be on the agenda amid the bloodshed in the disputed territory.

Last month, Prime Minister Sharif had convened a special cabinet meeting in Lahore to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation in held Kashmir.

The premier has been condemning the Indian atrocities in held Kashmir seeking global help to stop the killings of the civilians.