Govt’s legal team to hold meeting on Pandora Papers: Fawad Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: The government’s legal team will hold an important meeting to review the names mentioned in the Pandora Papers leaks, said Information Fawad Chaudhry Monday. 

“A new Pandora’s box has been opened by the Pandora leaks,” noted the minister. 

Chaudhry was referring to the high profile investigation undertaken by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that laid bare the financial secrets of the rich and powerful. 

The Pandora Papers featured the names of over 700 Pakistanis and celebrities, former and current rulers as well as sports personalities around the globe. 

The Pandora Papers have unmasked the fortunes of more than 330 public officials in 90 countries. Included among them are 35 current and former leaders of different countries. The king of Jordan, the rulers of Qatar and Dubai, presidents of Ukraine, Kenya and Ecuador, the prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Lebanon, and former British prime minister Tony Blair, all appear in the secret files.

PM Imran Khan vows to investigate ‘all citizens’ named in Pandora Papers

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday vowed to investigate “all citizens” named in the Pandora Papers leaks.

“If any wrongdoing is established we will take appropriate action,” the prime minister had said.

The premier welcomed the findings, “exposing the ill-gotten wealth of elites, accumulated through tax evasion and corruption and laundered out to financial ‘havens’.”

He said that the UN SG’s Panel FACTI has calculated a staggering $7 trillion in stolen assets parked in largely offshore tax havens.

The prime minister went on to state that his “over-two decades struggle” was based on the belief that it is not countries that are poor, but corruption that causes poverty “because money is diverted from being invested in our people”.

“Also, this resource-theft causes devaluation, leading to thousands of poverty-related deaths,” he had said.

Citing the example of the East India Company, he had said it “plundered the wealth of India”, and that now “ruling elites of developing world are doing the same”.

“Unfortunately, the rich states are neither interested in preventing this large-scale plunder nor in repatriating this looted money,” PM Imran Khan had noted.

Vowing to investigate and taking action against all those named in the probe, he called on the international community to treat this “grave injustice” with the same urgency as the climate change crisis.

If unchecked, inequalities between rich and poor states will increase as poverty rises in the latter. This, in turn, will lead to a flood of economic migration from the poor to the rich states, causing further economic and social instability across the globe,” he stressed.

Who has been named in the Pandora Papers leaks?

The Pandora Papers, an investigation uncovering financial secrets held by high-profile individuals across the world, includes the names of more than 700 Pakistanis, it has emerged.

Most prominently these include Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin, Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi; Senator Faisal Vawda; Ishaq Dar’s son, Ali Dar; PPP’s Sharjeel Memon, the family of Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar; PTI leader Abdul Aleem Khan; among others, with alleged links to offshore companies.

Some retired army officials, businessmen — including Axact’s CEO Shoaib Sheikh — and media company owners, have also been named in the leaks.

It must be noted that establishing and declaring an offshore company, which is not involved in any illegal practices, is permissible by law.