Panama Papers leak case
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists made 11.5 million secret documents, to be known as the
Panama Papers, available to the public on 3 April 2016.
 The documents, sourced from Panamanian law firm
Mossack Fonseca, included details of eight offshore companies with links to the family of
Nawaz Sharif, the incumbent
Prime Minister of Pakistan, and his brother
Shehbaz Sharif, the incumbent
Chief Minister of Punjab.
 According to the ICIJ, Sharif's children
Hassan Nawaz and
Hussain Nawaz “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.
 Mossack Fonseca records tied the children to four offshore companies, Nescoll Limited, Nielson Holdings Limited, Coomber Group Inc., and Hangon Property Holdings Limited.
 The companies acquired luxury real estate in London from 2006 to 2007. The real estate was collateral for loans of up to $13.8 million according to the Panama Papers.
Failure to constitute judicial commission
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Facing growing criticism, Sharif announced the formation of a
judicial commission under a retired judge of the
Supreme Court of Pakistan, in a nationwide address on 5 April 2016. However, no commission was constituted after the consecutive refusals of former Justices
Tassaduq Hussain Jillani,
Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal, Sahir Ali, and Tanvir Ahmad Khan.
 Despite this, the federal government remained committed to forming a commission, negotiating its
terms of reference with opposition parties
Pakistan People's Party and
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. In a second statewide address on 22 April 2016, Sharif announced he would resign if proven guilty.
 The latter effort failed when
Chief Justice of Pakistan
Anwar Zaheer Jamali, while citing open-ended terms of reference and limited scope of the law in field, declined to form "a toothless commission, which will serve no useful purpose."
Prime Minister's speech
In a televised address to the
National Assembly of Pakistan on 16 May 2016, Sharif suggested forming a joint committee to draft the terms of reference for establishing a judicial commission. He said he was not afraid of accountability, while criticizing opposition figures, "Today, people living in bungalows and commuting in helicopters are accusing me of misconduct. Can they explain before the nation as to how they earned all this money and how much tax they paid?"
 During his speech, Sharif claimed he would clear the air about the London flats, but did not return to the subject.
 Instead he reiterated that the flats had been purchased with the money earned from the sale of Jeddah Steel Mills, which belonged to his father. Later, Sharif's omission of any reference to his family's business connections with the
Qatari royal family during his 16 May speech invited allegations of contradictory statements.
Following Sharif's speech, PTI chairman Imran Khan filed a petition through counsel
Naeem Bokhari with the
Supreme Court of Pakistan on 29 August 2016, seeking Sharif's disqualification as Prime Minister and as a
Member of the National Assembly. Other political leaders including
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed of
Awami Muslim League, and
Jamat-e-Islami, expressed support for the petition as well. The petition also moved against Sharif's children, son-in-law
Muhammad Safdar, and in-law and incumbent
Ishaq Dar. PTI workers also staged a
sit-in outside Sharif's private residence at
Lahore on 30 September 2016. Khan subsequently called on supporters to "lock-down" Islamabad until Nawaz Sharif "resigned or presented himself for accountability".