Opposition targets Imran after 700 Pakistanis named in Pandora Papers


The Opposition leaders in Pakistan have slammed Prime Minister Imran Khan and demanded his resignation following the revelations made in the Pandora Papers, Geo TV reported.

A huge tranche of leaked data on offshore companies that is larger in size and scope than the Panama Papers hit the global headlines on Sunday night, laying bare the financial secrets of the global rich and powerful, including Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet members, financiers, retired generals, media owners and businessmen.

The names of more than 700 Pakistanis were discovered in the data and the majority of them are tax residents in this country.

The Pandora leaks have “opened a new Pandora’s Box” against Imran Khan, said PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal.

“The leader who used to present himself as ‘sadiq’ (honest) and ‘ameen’ (trustworthy) has two more offshore companies,” PML-N’s secretary-general Iqbal was quoted as saying by The News.

The PML-N stalwart said that even before the Pandora Papers were released, government spokespersons had started defending PM Imran Khan, the report said.

Imran Khan wore a “cloak of honesty” and “fooled” the people, Iqbal said, adding that the premier eroded Pakistan’s respect and pride.

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman isn’t surprised that the premier’s close aides were named in the Pandora Papers, the report added.

In a post on Twitter, the PPP leader said that “we all know that slogans of ‘corruption, free Pakistan and accountability’ are all hollow and a way to target the opposition”.

“Will the Prime Minister go to the Supreme Court against his people? Or will a report be called for like in other scandals,” Rehman asked.

Imran Khan must ensure investigation of the ministers and other people around him mentioned in the Pandora Papers in the same way he did in the case of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz’s spokesman Muhammad Zubair said on a Geo News programme.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, meanwhile, demanded immediate resignation of government ministers and advisers named in the Pandora Papers.

The names of 700 Pakistanis, including government ministers and advisers, have appeared in the Pandora Papers.

In his statement, the JI chief said that ministers and advisers should resign if their names are mentioned in the Pandora Papers, otherwise they should be sacked.

He said that for transparency in the investigation and to avoid government influence, it is necessary to remove the government employees named in the Pandora Papers.