Opposition leader Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he expected a Supreme Court corruption investigation to topple Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and repeated his calls for Sharif to resign immediately.
“Hopefully within this month … we will see the end of the dark night of the Sharifs,” the former cricketer told tens of thousands of supporters.
“My anger is against these two cowards, these jackals of Pakistan, for making fight one another.”
Khan’s challenge stems from documents leaked from the Panama-based Mossack Fonseca law firm that appeared to show that Sharif’s daughter and two sons owned offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Sharif’s family denies wrongdoing, and there was no mention of Sharif himself owning any offshore companies.
Holding offshore companies is not illegal in Pakistan, but Khan has implied that the money and London apartments held by the companies, amounting to millions of dollars, were gained by corrupt means.
Khan’s threat of a “shutdown” protest had sparked fears of a repeat of demonstrations in 2014, where thousands of his supporters paralysed Islamabad’s government quarter for several months over allegations of election rigging.
In a bid to foil the “shutdown”, authorities arrested scores of PTI supporters and shut a major motorway leading from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Khan’s political heartland.
The capital was calm on Wednesday, though there was still a heavy police presence.