PM welcomes Pandora Papers’ revelation, vows to investigate those named in leaks

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Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Imran Khan has hailed the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), uncovering financial secrets held by high-profile individuals across the world.

“We welcome the Pandora Papers exposing the ill-gotten wealth of elites, accumulated through tax evasion & corruption & laundered out to financial “havens”. The UN SG’s Panel FACTI calculated a staggering $7 trillion in stolen assets parked in largely offshore tax havens,” the premier said in a series of tweet soon after ICIJ unveiled “Pandora Papers”.

“My over-two decades struggle has been premised on the belief that countries are not poor but corruption causes poverty because money is diverted from being invested in our people. Also, this resource-theft causes devaluation, leading to thousands of poverty-related deaths,” PM Khan added.

“Just like the East India Company plundered the wealth of India, ruling elites of developing world are doing the same. Unfortunately, the rich states are neither interested in preventing this large-scale plunder nor in repatriating this looted money,” he stressed.

“If unchecked, inequalities between rich & poor states will increase as poverty rises in the latter. This in turn will lead to a flood of economic migration from the poor to the rich states, causing further economic & social instability across the globe,” the premier maintained.

“My govt will investigate all our citizens mentioned in the Pandora Papers & if any wrongdoing is established we will take appropriate action. I call on the international community to treat this grave injustice as similar to the climate change crisis,” PM Khan vowed.

On Sunday, the ICIJ unveiled “Pandora Papers”, uncovering financial secrets held by high-profile individuals across the world, exposed the names of more than 700 Pakistanis, including Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Senator Faisal Vawda, Ishaq Dar’s son, PPP’s Sharjeel Memon, the family of Minister for Industries and Production Khusro Bakhtiar, PTI leader Abdul Aleem Khan, Axact CEO Shoaib Sheikh, among others, with alleged links to offshore companies.

Some retired army officials, businessmen and media company owners, have also been named in the leaks, geo news reported.

From Pakistan, investigative journalists Umar Cheema and Fakhar Durrani of The News International were part of the research.

ICIJ received more than 11.9 million documents containing 2.94 terabytes worth of confidential information from service providers who helped set up and manage offshore companies and trusts in tax havens around the world.