Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Aleem Khan, PTI chairman Imran Khan’s close friend Zulfi Bukhari and Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s mother have been named among 400 Pakistanis in second set of Panama leaks, Dunya News reported Monday.
Panama Papers has published another set of leaked documents that allege Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf members, Chinoy, Seth Abid, son of former federal health minister Naseer Khan and other Pakistanis of owing offshore companies and evading taxes. Former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Shaukat Ahmed, ex-managing director (MD) Port Qasim Authority Abdul Sattar Dero, family of Sheikh Abid Hussain who is casually known as Seth Abid and former Prime Minister (PM) late Benazir Bhutto’s cousin, ex-Admiral Muzaffar Hussain’s sons have also been named in Panama leaks.
Ex-MD Abdul Sattar owns two offshore companies while Seth Abid’s family has at least 30 illegal companies. Known trader, Irfan Iqbal Puri who has good terms with former president Asif Ali Zardari and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief also owns three offshore companies. The leaked documents belong to law firm, Mossack Fonseca that have been published by Panama Papers. The paper earlier published leaks in April that alleged around 140 leaders of the world of evading taxes and stashing wealth abroad while 200,000 offshore companies were revealed. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family was accused among other politicians. Icelandic Prime Minister resigned after protests against him while Spanish minister also stepped down.
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced to table details of his assets and in the parliament. He also called for revised transparency measures to tighten noose on tax evaders. PM Nawaz faced a huge backlash from opposition parties mainly PTI chief. Imran Khan demanded the Prime Minister of setting up a judicial commission led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Anwar Zaheer Jamali to probe the issue. PM Nawaz, in a live address to the nation announced formation of a commission to probe him and his family among other Pakistanis. Prior to the address, PM Nawaz had visited London citing medical checkup the reason behind. However, different sections dubbed the move as an attempt to ‘right the wrong’.
Opposition parties rejected the Terms of References (TORs) put forth by the government ahead of the probe. Joint TORs were put together by different opposition parties including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), PTI, Awami Muslim League (AML), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and others. However, the government alleged the opposition of attempting to save some of its ‘big fish’ by omitting a clause from the proposed TORs. Joint TORs presented by the opposition were rejected by the government in the latest development in the matter. Senior members and leaders of different opposition parties are scheduled to convene a meeting today to finalise a strategy after government’s disagreement on TORs.