Friday, March 31, 2023

Pandora Papers in Pakistan

Pandora Papers have started a new discussion and exposed novel stories of corruption. Prime Minister Imran Khan has always raised voice against such mal practices. However, Pandora Papers have revealed that a number of key personalities, having significant responsibilities in Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan, are termed as corrupt figures in front of the world through these leaks.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) carried out this investigation and released Pandora Papers during late hours on Sunday, October 4th, 2021. The papers revealed names of around 700 Pakistani citizens. These names included Political allies of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ministers of recent government as well as families of military personnel.

Contents

Who has been named in Pandora Papers?

The names revealed in Pandora Papers include  cabinet members of the present government along with close friends of Prime Minister, military officers, families of military officers and opposition members. The names of some of these personalities are given in the table:

Politicians
Shaukat Tarin – Finance Minister
Moonis Elahi – Minister for Water Resources
Faisal Vawda – Ex-Federal Minister and Senator
Abdullah Masood Khan – Son of Prime Minister’s Former Adviser for Finance and Revenue
Khusro Bakhtiyar’s family – Minister for Industries and Production
Tariq Shafi – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Donor
Yawar Salman – Son of Former FBR Chairman and Finance Secretary Salman Siddiq
Ali Dar – Son of Ishaq Dar (Pakistan Muslim League – N Leader)
Sharjeel Memon – Pakistan People’s Party
Arif Naqvi – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Donor
Wife of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi – Pakistan Muslim League – Q Leader
Abdul Aleem Khan – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Leader
Army Officers / Family of Army Officers
Raja Nadir Pervaiz – Retired Army Officer and Former Minister
Wife of Retired Lt. Gen Shafaat Ullah Shah
Umar Khattak and Ahad Khattak – Sons of Former Pakistan Air Chief Abbas Khattak
Hasan Muzafar – Son of Retired Lt. General Muhammad Afzal Muzaffar
Zahra Tanvir – Wife of Retired Lt. Gen Tanvir Tahir
Business Personalities
Arif Usmani – President National Bank of Pakistan
Adnan Afridi – Managing Director National Investment Trust
Shoaib Sheikh – CEO Axact
Javed Afridi – Peshawar Zalmi owner and well-known Industrialist
Media Tycoons
Hameed Haroon – CEO Dawn Media Group
Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman – Jang Group Publisher
Sultan Ahmed Lakhani – Express Media Group Publisher
Arif Nizami (Late) – Pakistan Today Publisher
The Gourmet Group (Owner of GNN TV channel)

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Statement regarding the Pandora Papers

Imran Khan has always remained vocal against corruption. He has welcomed the Pandora Papers. He believes that countries are never poor. In fact, it is the corruption that causes poverty in a country because money is not used for the betterment of people.  Even in the present scenario, he has pledged that his government shall look into the matter and take appropriate actions accordingly.

What are Pandora Papers?

It has been around a week that we are hearing this term ‘Pandora Papers’ again and again. What does this term mean? The Pandora Papers accounts for an investigative research of International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ). These papers have revealed the secret record of numerous world leaders and public officials etc. who used offshore tax havens in order to hide huge amount of their money worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The research was made public on October 4, 2021 – Sunday. The data, in order to conduct this research, has been gathered from the records of 14 offshore companies from around the world. International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) is a network of media organizations and reporters. This data has been revealed after careful research conducted during the span of two years while cautiously analyzing 11.9 million confidential files and documents.

Around 150 media houses and 600 journalists contributed their efforts in the study. The ICIJ has confirmed that the data gathered in the study belongs to more than 330 politicians and government officials while the countries focused in the research are above 91 in number.

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Are Off-shore companies Legal or Illegal?

The pandora leaks has also given rise to a question if offshore companies are illegal or legal? The fact is that setting up an offshore company is not considered illegal. Also, every country has its own rules. Nevertheless, using offshore companies in order to avoid paying tax or money laundering is a shameful phenomenon. It spoils the individual’s reputation as well as country’s image at international level.

Conclusion:

Imran Khan had promised a new Pakistan which would not have ill practices such as corruption. Nonetheless, the Pandora Papers has initiated this debate that how will Prime Minister Imran Khan will deal with the Pandora Paper leaks and specially exposed politicians of his own cabinet. The Panama Papers leaks 2016 encouraged a number of legal cases and criticizing statements by Imran Khan. The Pakistani nation is now looking forward to the justice Mr. Prime Minister provides in the case of Pandora Papers against his own team.

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