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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pandora Papers maligning Pak heroes?

The Pandora Papers accuse Raja Nadir Pervez, a retired army officer and former minister, of conducting business with India through an offshore company. However, he said he would never do such a thing as it is a betrayal to his comrades who sacrificed their lives while fighting India.

The Pandora Papers recently took the political world by storm as it exposed world leaders for having offshore companies. Around 700 Pakistanis were also named in the Pandora Papers, including politicians, ministers, even army officers.

Raja Nadir Pervez, a retired army officer and former minister was among the people accused of having offshore companies. As per the Pandora Papers, Raja Nadir Pervez owned International Finance and Equipment Ltd, a BVI-registered company. The leaked files claim that his company conducts business with Russia, China, Thailand, and India.

Records show that in 2003, Pervez transferred his shares in the company to a trust that controls several offshore companies.

One of the trust’s beneficiaries is a British arms dealer. According to U.K. court documents, one of the trust’s other companies helped broker arms sales from Belgian manufacturer FN Herstal SA to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., a state-owned Indian defense company.

However, Raja Nadir Pervez denied all such claims.

Read more: Fact check: Does Junaid Safdar own 5 offshore companies?

I’m not a businessman, just a soldier: Raja Nadir Pervez

In an interview to a private media channel, the retired army officer says he has never owned any “offshore company.”

“I never even thought about an offshore company, let alone owning it,” Raja Nadir said.

He further states that the government has all the details of his wealth. Moreover, he clarified that he owns only inherited wealth.

While responding to claims of conducting business with India, the war veteran said he would never do such a thing as it is a betrayal to his comrades who sacrificed their lives while fighting India.

Raja Nadir Pervez fought against India in both the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the 1971 Indo-Pak Winter War. He received the Sitara-e-Jurat for his service in the 1965 war. He also became a prisoner of war but led an escape from the Indian prison in Fateh Garh along with four other officers. As a result, he received the Sitara-e-Jurat for the second time.

“I will do business with those Indians who martyred our friends and companions?” Raja Nadir said clearly upset, “We buried some of those martyrs ourselves.”

“I am not a businessman. I am just a soldier,” he added.

Read more: Pandora Papers: PM Khan assures accountability

Pandora Papers: An attempt to malign Pak army?

While reiterating that he does not own any offshore company, Nadir Pervez also said that no one contacted him during the two years of ICIJ investigation.

Raja Nadir Pervez further challenged the people to prove any illegal transactions in his name. He also urged the government to investigate and make his case a top priority. In the end, Raja Pervez vowed to take the matter to court.

Pertinent to note, Raja Nadir Pervez, in strong words, said Pandora Papers is a deliberate attempt to malign the institution as it falsely names many generals and officers who did nothing but lead honorable lives.

Read more: The Pandora gambit: Nothing but sensationalism?