Panama Leak exposes PM Nawaz’s family
This Monday, the family of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was defiant. After getting their names leaked in Panama Papers, they were defending the ownership of their offshore companies. It is one of the biggest leaks in history.
Mossack Fonseca, a law firm based in Panama, leaked 11.5 million documents, showing how some most powerful individuals in the world have concealed away their wealth in offshore dominions.
Among this long list, there were names of Sharif’s 4 children; Maryam, his political successor; Hussain and Hasan, with the documents revealing their ownership of London real estate by offshore companies controlled by the firm. Umar Cheema of the autonomous Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan said that Nawaz Sharif did not hold the ownership of any company but having companies in his children names also created a questionable situation. He further said their report identified over 200 Pakistanis including lawmakers, some judiciary people and lawyers. After the Panama release, Imran Khan issued a swift call in order to take action against Nawaz Sharif.
But talking to a private channel, Sharif’s son Hussain claimed that their family did no wrong. He admitted that the offshore companies and departments belong to them. He further added that he never tried to hide them nor he was intending to hide them in present times, as there was no wrong it that.
“British law and other countries’ law allow avoiding needless tax by means of offshore companies”, said Hussain. He said that he left Pakistan in 1992, therefore he was not a resident and according to tax law of Pakistan, he was not bound to declare his assets being living outside the country for over 138 days.
He responded Imran Khan’s call for NAB to investigate by saying “we willingly present ourselves before judicial or any Pakistani investigative institution”. He asked Khan to proof that the PM hadn’t declared his assets. “If he succeeds, we are ready to admit our responsibility and suffer punishment,” he added.
There has no comment form Nawaz Sharif’s office yet.
A financial analyst, Ali Nadir, said that utilizing offshore companies was legitimate. But, “I think business and political leaders will be bothered to take the privacy defence reference to the global move towards a improved track of money, corruption, laundering and tax evasion.