Panama Papers ‘crap’, says Nawaz Sharif’s daughter; draws flak from German journalists
Just weeks after her father and Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif barely scraped through the courts - escaping a possible disqualification in a case of alleged corruption, her daughter Maryam on Tuesday came down heavily on those making desperate attempts to dislodge her father from power.
Calling Panama Papers ‘crap’, she said that the scandal has been trashed around the world.
“Panama (papers) is crap. Trashed in the rest of the world. Those relying on it to bring down Nawaz Sharif will bite the dust,” she tweeted.
“Panama papers were never about corruption. Even the stealers & hackers (read originators) didn't say it was. Losers in imminent danger,” another one of her tweets read.
She also criticised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a ruling government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for raking up the issue.
“You won't be able to present Panama papers as a substitute or compensation for your dismal performance in KP. Electorate has matured, you haven't,” she tweeted.
Maryam’s reaction prompted award-winning German journalists Bastian Obermayer and Frederick Obermaier of Suddeutsche Zeitumg to rebut the charge that Panama Papers ‘were never about corruption’.
“Sorry to tell you, Panama papers are about corruption. We found an astonishing number of corruption cases in the documents - and all real,” Bastian tweeted.
“Trashed in the rest of the world? ICYMI: 150 investigations, audits & investigations Panama Papers in 80 countries,” Obermaier said.
Obermayer told Dawn that ‘no other head of state has challenged their veracity, even Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose best friend we found in the centre of a number of offshore companies’.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Supreme Court today set up a special cell to help constitute the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe Nawaz Sharif and his family's alleged corruption in the Panama Papers case.
The Supreme Court Additional Registrar Mohammad Ali was appointed as the coordinator and would be responsible for facilitating all communication between the JIT and the Supreme Court bench.
The six-member JIT would be constituted at the earliest, as Justice Ejaz Afzal, who is a main member of the Supreme Court bench, has returned from Turkey.
In its April 20 judgment, the apex court had ordered the formation of the JIT to probe offshore assets of the Prime Minister and his two sons.
Sharif, 67, had got a temporary breather from the Supreme Court which said there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to remove him from office but ordered setting up of a JIT to probe the graft allegations against his family.
The high-profile graft case is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in 1990s when he twice served as the Prime Minister to purchase assets in London. Information about the assets surfaced when Panama Papers last year showed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif's children.
The JIT comprises representatives from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), as well as officials from the Military Intelligence and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The JIT would submit its report on the progress in the probe to the coordinator every 15 days.
The scandal involving the Sharif family first surfaced when documents from a Panamanian legal firm was leaked by a consortium of international investigative journalists in April last year.