Pakistani lawmaker Imran Khan’s name may not have given in connection with the Panama Papers yet—unlike Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif—but government officials accuse him of looting the country. And so it seems that two of Pakistan’s most high-profile government leaders have accusations of tax dodging swirling around them and their families.
Panama Papers name Nawaz Sharif’s children
The Panama Papers leak revealed that hundreds of public figures from around the world may have offshore bank accounts in known tax haven countries for the purpose of avoiding the higher tax rates in their countries. The scandal involves the leak of more than 11 million documents from a law firm in Panama that indicated some big names had secured the firm’s services to set up these offshore accounts.
Today Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is dealing with fallout from the revelations in the Panama Papers, which indicated that some of his children were linked to offshore companies. He has denied all wrongdoing, both on his behalf and on his sons’ and daughter’s behalf. The Wall Street Journal notes that it’s not illegal for Pakistani residents to have an offshore bank account or company and that having one or both does not automatically mean the account holders are dodging taxes.
A political analyst told The Wall Street Journal that Sharif “appears to be under siege” from the allegations surrounding his family and that opposition parties seem to be banding together to pressure him. Some members of other political parties and media commentators are demanding a probe to learn where his children’s wealth comes from. Imran Khan, who belongs to one of the opposing parties, is among those demanding an investigation.
Sharif’s party strikes back at Imran Khan
Sharif’s political party stood up for him quickly, turning their firepower directly at Khan, who is chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. According to a press release, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Danyal Aziz showed off documents to Pakistani leader while accusing Khan of investing some money from Shaukat Khanam Memorial Hospital in companies that are outside of the countries.
He also alleged that Khan is operating an investment company outside of Pakistan. Aziz showed two audit reports from the hospital to explain that charity funds collected under the hospitals name were used as investments offshore.