The Panama Leaks and Nawaz Sharif Family
05 June 2016
By Saeed Qureshi
A team of The International Consortium of Investigate
Journalists (ICIJ) leaked the Database Documents commonly known as Panama
Papers. ICIJ works for Panama Papers.
Panama Papers is
the largest international organization of its kind across the globe. The
leaked documents involving 214000 offshore companies were researched by around
400 journalists around the world from 80 nations. The number of confidential
documents researched is 1.5 million. Besides 100 media organizations including
BBC, Guardian, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Falter, etc. were involved in this
research. The collected information runs into 2.6 terabytes of data.
The Central actor or facilitator mentioned in the historic and
unprecedented so titled ''Panama Leaks'' is Mossack Fonseca. It is a law firm
of Panama that works globally to establish, manage and sell the anonymous
businesses and companies to prospective interested parties.
Mossack Fonseca manages the secret assets of major banks, legal
firms and asset management companies. Its shady deals also encompass
industrialists, actors, the world's rich and famous politicians,
personalities, fraudsters, drug smugglers, professionals, etc. Thus the
beneficiaries and clients of the Mossack Fonseca can evade taxes and and money
It prepares fake documents, creates phony directors and hides the true
identity of the actual owners of the offshore businesses. In simple world it
helps, in an apparent legal way, the money laundering of the black or
Undoubtedly, it is one of the
biggest and unprecedented scandals of money-laundering unearthed ever. It
would be interesting to watch what action the respective governments take
against the figures, companies, politicians and business cartels of their
countries. Whether the Panama government or an international forum would take
Mossack Fonseca to task or the respective governments would prosecute those
companies and individuals whose names are in the papers.
From Pakistan three children of the incumbent Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif, namely Hasan Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz Sharif and daughter
Marian Safdar have been mentioned in the Panama Leaks. From India there are
500 industrialists, Bollywood actors, Politicians who used the service of
Mossack Fonseca to hide their wealth. This list includes Amitabh Bachchan,
Aishwarya, Rai KP Singh, Anurag Kejriwal and many others.
In Pakistan there is a massive backlash from the politicians
against Nawaz Sharif and his family. Imran Khan, the Chairman of the PTI and
some of his colleagues have been most aggressive and have demanded by the NAB
to immediately launch an investigation into the recent revelations about Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family's alleged offshore wealth.
Calling for prime Minister's resignation, the PTI chief has
asked the prime minister to reveal to the nation how such huge sums were
transferred abroad. The Chief of Jamaat-i-Islam Siraj-ul-haq has joined the
chorus of bitter condemnation and scathing censure.
Besides PTI, Sheikh Rashid, the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, Ayaz Amir a
columnist and Sirjul-Haq the Chief of Jamat-e-Islami among others have
castigated the prime minister on formation of one man judicial commission.
They rejected this decision of Nawaz Sharif and opined that it was going to be
mere an eye wash in probing the truth about the serious accusation of money
laundering as leaked in Panama Papers.
It looks like a
sudden bolt from the blue for Nawaz Sharif government already caught up in
unbridled religious militancy and continuous lawlessness and unremitting.
There could a possibility that opposition might force either derailing the
PMLN government or his resignation as the prime minister.
The allegations of the opposition members though legitimate
look like a political move to embarrass Nawaz Sharif personally and to replace
him. Perhaps it is the most embarrassing and trying time for Mian Nawaz Sharif
and his children although there are many other heads of states or the
government caught into this sudden whirlwind of hug scam.
Although the three children of Nawaz Sharif have tried to
clarify their position yet the barrage of incriminations against Sharif family
seems to be bulging. Their explanation is that they had been doing their
business out of Pakistan for about twenty years and their wealth was not
transferred from Pakistan but earned abroad. Mariam Safdar in her press
statement said that ''the info provided by leaks does NOT say any wrongdoing
Distortion is willful that a couple of media
channels are using to settle scores"
In a televised
address to the nation Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced to constitute a
Judicial Commission to probe 'allegations' being faced by his family members
in the backdrop of Panama Papers leak.
But how far and
effective this explanation would be to convince the critics and whether the
storm would finally subside or not cannot be predicted
In the wake of this mega bombshell of concealment of wealth,
the Iceland's prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has resigned. There
could be many more resignations in the time to come.
The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a
former diplomat. This and other articles by the
writer can also be read at his blog www.uprightopinion.com.