AYESHA AZIZ April 2016 has been quite an eventful month when it comes to the Panama Papers. The leakage of these papers during the first week of the month has created a storm in Pakistan that refuses to die down. Some 200 Pakistanis are under the radar for their alleged involvement in operating of offshore companies.
Since eruption of this controversy, the role of opposition parties in Pakistan has been confrontational and aggressive. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is leading from the front. The Terms of References (ToRs) announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has led to further political uncertainty as all major opposition parties, including the PPP have refused to accept them. The PTI has already convened several meetings on the issue, and has also held public rallies in Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. As for the PPP, its leaders Senator Aitzaz Ahsan and Syed Khurshid Shah have said that the PM should resign on moral grounds if the contents of the Panama Papers prove to be true.
Earlier this week, a major private media group’s affiliated newspaper claimed that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the organisation responsible for leaking the Panama Papers, has apparently apologised for mentioning PM Sharif’s name in the papers citing ‘editing errors’. When several Pakistani journalists and activists sought clarification on this story from the ICIJ, the organisation denied the story, and stated that it stands by its stance on PM Sharif being indirectly involved in his children’s offshore companies. If the ICIJ’s claims are valid, government has allegedly planted a fake story through a certain media group for mitigating pressure on the PM.
The media and political advisers of the ruling party seem to be acting in unwise hurry, making one faux pas after the other. The government advertisements placed in all major newspapers ostensibly paid by taxpayers money to clarify the name of the Sharif family of allegations of tax-evasion is one example of government’s lack of sagacity in handling a very sensitive matter. Furthermore, the steps taken by the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in curbing corruption from the armed forces have already strengthened the opposition’s morale, forcing the government to be on the back foot at the moment. —Karachi ASMA IQBAL In latest addition of Panama papers majority of Pakistanis having their names, approx 150 from Karachi and 400 across Pakistan. This is the poor Pakistan and it is not new for the nation. Anything can happen here and people will talk, forget and this will become history.
Issues like un-employment, water scarcity, electricity failures, law and order situation, poor education system, damage of infra structure and other main problems are neglected and all focus is on “Metro bus project” types of projects. We can say it’s a bad luck for Pakistani people.
May be in future someone like “Mossack Fonseca” will reveal that in “Swiss bank” majority of account holders are “Pakistanis”. I wish that people of Pakistan get social justice and benefits of good governance. — Karachi