It hasn’t been that long since the Panama Papers exposed thousands of politicians and businessmen around the world with secret offshore companies or shell companies. The leaked info revealed that over 200 Pakistanis are involved in tax evasion. This time it is Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) which has divulged that Pakistan’s state institutions are involved in using offshore accounts to park off some money in foreign shores.
TIP has shown concerns over the long delay in the establishment of any authoritative panel to ascertain whether any of the involved people are guilty/not-guilty in offences related to tax evasion, money laundering, obscuring assets and anti-national interests. The leaked papers have already sparked off calls worldwide for leaders to step down, as is evident by the international uprisings against the involved people and the admission of allegations by prominent figures around the world.
Transparency International has called for a ban on opening offshore accounts and forcing everyone to bring assets that are otherwise invested in any offshore companies, back to the country.
The Director of TIP, Adil Gilani, divulged the details of state-run institutions which have offshore accounts for no apparent reasons. He said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which is on the verge of privatization, has offshore accounts in British Virgin Islands and the beneficiaries of those accounts is not the PIA, but the government officials who make use of those accounts.
He went on and said that the establishment of K-Electric (KE) is also linked to offshore accounts. TIP says that if the government is really serious about investigating the Panama Papers scandal, it should first order the closure of offshore accounts.
Adil Gilani says that TIP has been saying, again and again, for 16 years that the black money earned from corruption and tax evasion is being used for terrorist activities. He was of the view that to save Pakistan, corruption of billions of rupees has to be stopped.
The TIP Director wants the government to take steps on emergency basis for the socio-economic development of Pakistan. He praised General Raheel Sharif for his country-wide efforts against terrorists and other criminals. Gilani urged the army general to continue his work and even withdraw his decision of retiring for the time being.
The information revealed by Transparency International could open another Pandora’s Box. With the political situation already in turmoil, more allegations against the government could force it to investigate the allegations or even make the leadership to forfeit their positions unless Panama Papers are proven false globally.
via Express Tribune