News Analysis |
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan posted two tweets on Saturday containing letters from British Virgin Islands (BVI) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which prove that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz is the beneficial owner of a number of offshore companies. The BVI FIA received the confirmation from Mossack Fonseca itself, the notorious company whose documents were released in the form of Panama Papers in 2015.
برٹش ورجن آئیلینڈ کی فنانشنل انوسٹیگشن ایجنسی کی دستاویز سے مکمل طور پر ثابت ہوتا ہے کہ مریم نواز ہی اربوں روپے مالیت کے مےفیئرز فلیٹس کی مالک ہیں۔ انکا اپنا کوئی ذریعہ آمدن نہیں چنانچہ یہ پیسہ نواز شریف نے چرایا اور بیٹی کے نام پر منی لانڈرنگ کرکے باہر بھجوایا ہے۔1/2 pic.twitter.com/DQ6HZWNH29
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 10, 2018
2/2 یہ دستاویز شریفوں کے قطری خطوط، ٹرسٹ ڈیڈ اور کیلیبری جیسے تمام جھوٹ بے نقاب کرتی ہیں۔ pic.twitter.com/bu8UiKgQlg
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 10, 2018
The Panama Papers leak earlier created a huge scandal in the country as it showed that the ruling Sharif family held numerous offshore companies which were not declared by them to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The Supreme Court took a suo moto notice of the case after receiving numerous petitions for it. A five member bench of the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif on 28th July 2017 on the basis of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution in the Panama Paper’s case.
If Imran Khan goes to the SC with these letters and a corruption inquiry is started, it will add further fuel to Sharif family’s polemic against the judiciary and provide them further reasons to attack them.
The SC also ordered filing of three corruption references: Avenfield properties, Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment, against the former premier and his sons: Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz. While only one reference, Avenfield properties, was filed against Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar. The documents posted by Khan shows Maryam’s ownership of Mayfair flats even though they are not part of the corruption investigation by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
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These documents could spell more trouble for the Maryam Nawaz who is already struggling to prove her innocence in the Avenfield properties. Earlier this year, the accountability court hearing the Sharif’s family’s corruption references allowed the filing of a supplementary reference by NAB in the Avenfield properties case. NAB is aware of the Mayfair properties but has not started investigations on them yet because the SC didn’t include it in the Panamagate verdict.
The purpose of Imran Khan’s tweet is unclear as it does nothing against the alleged corruption but sway the public opinion against the accused. The 2018 general elections are on the corner and Imran Khan’s PTI have made anti-corruption their battle cry. Some media experts are questioning the source of the letters as they were written to the chairman of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for Panama case, Wajid Zia.
The Supreme Court took a suo moto notice of the case after receiving numerous petitions for it. A five member bench of the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif on 28th July 2017 on the basis of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution in the Panama Paper’s case.
The 6 month deadline given by the SC to resolve the corruption references against Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz has already expired. The references are expected to be resolved within the next couple of months. The whole political career of Maryam Nawaz is on the line while the Nawaz Sharif’s political career has already ended. If the decision of the reference comes against Maryam Nawaz, she’ll be disqualified to become a member of the parliament and subsequently barred from holding office in her party.
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Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz started a tirade against the judiciary following his disqualification y the SC. If Imran Khan goes to the SC with these letters and a corruption inquiry is started, it will add further fuel to Sharif family’s polemic against the judiciary and provide them further reasons to attack them. On the other hand, since SC did not order filing of petition against the Mayfair properties previously, the might not do it again as they did with the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.