Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has been embroiled in the Panama leaks controversy, has temporary relief for now as the Supreme Court gave a split decision (3-2) in his favor this Thursday. Although this means that Sharif will remain the Prime Minister of Pakistan the case is far from over. The SC has ordered the Government to form a Joint Committee to investigate the case in detail within the next 60 days. The committee is to include members of the ISI (Intelligence Wing of Pakistan) and the Military Intelligence and other such organisations of National Intelligence. Maryam Sharif, the daughter of Nawaz Sharif sent out victory tweets after the verdict was declared.
The Panama Papers claimed that three of Pakistan PM Sharif’s children owned offshore companies and held the right to give authorisation to several companies for their transactions. The charges have since been denied vehemently by Sharif and his family. The petitioners against Sharif and his family have asked for him to be disqualified and sacked as the Prime Minister of Pakistan on grounds of alleged tax fraud. The opposition has supported this demand. Sharif has maintained innocence all this time, offering to resign if the allegations of tax fraud against him were proven to be true.
The Panama Papers Scandal erupted last year when a law firm from Panama, Mossack Fonseca, that deals in setting up offshore companies in alleged tax havens leaked secret files to the public. The files contained top secret information about prominent people who used offshore companies to stash undeclared wealth. Governments around the world were rocked by the scandal as the list contained names of several distinguished people. Consequently, the Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was compelled to resign from his post after it was alleged in the Panama documents that his family possessed hidden offshore assets.
There are also several prominent and powerful Indians to be found on the Panama list. Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, KP Singh and Sameer Gehlaut are some of the names on the list which is purported to feature over 500 Indians on it.