The Pandora Papers have revealed the names of 700 Pakistani individuals and members of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet, including cabinet ministers, their families and key financial backers of the inner circle, who have secretly held companies with millions of dollars in hidden assets. And there is a series of trusts. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The documents revealed more than 700 Pakistani names on Sunday.
Those whose assets have been disclosed include Khan’s finance minister Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin and his family and the son of Khan’s former advisor on finance and revenue Waqar Masood Khan.
According to ICIJ, the records also revealed offshore transactions of top PTI donor Arif Naqvi, who is facing fraud charges in the US.
Pakistan’s civilian government and military leaders who are hiding huge amounts of money in a country plagued by widespread poverty and tax evasion, the ICIJ said.
According to ARY News, “The owner of two offshore companies registered at the same address as Prime Minister Imran Khan has disclosed that they were registered by him at a different address and denied any role of the Premier in this regard.”
According to the ICIJ, Pakistan’s elite use offshore services that oppose the findings of the Panama Papers, which led to Sharif’s downfall and helped bring Imran Khan to power three years ago.
The revelations are part of the Pandora Papers, a new global investigation into the shady offshore financial system that allows multinational corporations, the rich, famous and powerful, to evade taxes and otherwise protect their wealth. According to the ICIJ, the investigation is based on more than 11.9 million confidential files from 14 offshore services firms that have been leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with 150 news organizations around the world.
In 2007, the wife of Pakistani General Shafat Ullah Shah acquired an apartment in London for $1.2 million through a discreet offshore transaction. Notably, he was a close aide of the then President Pervez Musharraf.
The document also revealed several prominent military leaders of Pakistan and inter-generational wealth transfers.
The findings paint a picture of an irresponsible military elite with extensive personal and family offshore holdings.
According to the ICIJ, Pakistan’s prime minister is surrounded by people – cabinet ministers and their families, donors and other political allies – who have assets hidden offshore.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and some members of his family are the owners of four offshore companies.
Omar Bakhtiar, the brother of Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Mines’ Industries Minister, transferred a $1 million apartment to his elderly mother through an offshore company in the Chelsea area of London in 2018, according to ICIJ.
Mines’ former water resources minister Faisal Vavda set up an offshore company in 2012 to invest in UK assets. He resigned in March amid controversy over his status as a dual US-Pakistan national. According to ICIJ, financial backers of Imran Khan are prominent among the leaked documents.
The files detail the offshore activities of more than 29,000 accounts. Among them: more than 130 Forbes lists of billionaires and more than 330 public officials worldwide.
The Pandora Papers exposed the wrongfully acquired wealth of elites accumulated through tax evasion and corruption and laundered for financial “heavens”.
Imran Khan said he would launch an investigation into the matter, tweeting, “UN SG panel FACTI calculates $7 trillion in stolen assets parked in a massive offshore tax-haven.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)