ISLAMABAD – More than 700 Pakistani politicians, businessmen, retired generals, bankers and owners of media houses own offshore companies, according to Pandora Papers.
Pandora Papers, which were released on Sunday evening, say that several well-known figures in the incumbent government led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also own offshore companies. Some of them are Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Senator Faisal Vawda and Punjab Minister Aleem Khan.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has called the “Pandora Papers” its “most expansive exposé of financial secrecy yet,” noting that the investigation involved more than 600 journalists from 117 countries as well as over 11.9 million leaked files “covering every corner of the globe.”
This comes five years after the ICIJ published the Panama papers, which cited documents allegedly belonging to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to assert that some national leaders and their confidants used offshore banking to conceal their fortunes.
At the same time, the authenticity of the data has never been confirmed, with Mossack Fonseca refusing to do so and accusing the journalists of having committed a crime.
Are you ready for the #PandoraPapers?
This new investigation is our most expansive exposé of financial secrecy yet. Coming tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. EDT, 4:30 p.m. GMT., it features reporting from more than 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries across the globe. pic.twitter.com/Ew0CnVInh9
— ICIJ (@ICIJorg) October 2, 2021
Earlier, Pakistani investigative reporter Umer Cheema said Pakistani people whose names are on Pandora Papers number are more than those whose names were on the Panama Paper. He also mentioned that the names are kind of interesting, but you will have to wait for another 24 hours.
Pleased to announce that @FrehmanD and I were part of a major international financial investigation which has now been concluded. Time of its publication will be announced soon.
— Umar Cheema (@UmarCheema1) October 2, 2021
The international network of journalists investigated the matter for around two years to organize this investigation, making it the ‘biggest-ever’ journalism joint venture.
The global scandal surfaced following the massive leak of financial files that reveals how the elite transfer their ‘dirty’ money to tax havens using secret firms.
The project reportedly named Pandora Papers is in reference to the Greek mythology’s character in whose box would be all the ills of humanity.
In 2017, the Panama Paper had leaked exposed names of key personalities linking them to off-shore companies. The international scandal created havoc in a number of countries including Pakistan where former premier Nawaz Sharif’s family had been at the forefront of the resulting trial from the papers.