APBF demands probe into politicians’ offshore wealth
The All Pakistan Business Forum president Ibrahim Qureshi on Monday said that Panama Leaks exposed the corruption of both currents as well as the former rulers of the country, asking the authorities to launch an investigation about the offshore wealth of all, who are involved in it. If the money has been stolen from the people of Pakistan it should be brought back to the country, he demanded. “Now the government is not in a position to ask the foreign companies to invest in Pakistan as their own families are doing business abroad.”
He said the papers had been carefully reviewed by around 400 world renowned journalists hailing from 80 countries before their release. Hence, there is no excuse for the government to remain silent on the matter, he said.
He asked the government to clear its position and bring back the money into the country invested abroad, as the government itself should become a role model for the rest of business community.
Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi demanded the NAB to immediately launch an investigation into the recent revelations about Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family’s alleged offshore wealth. He asked the NAB that if it wanted to have some credibility it should unveil the corruption of the ruling elite. He said if it was unable to act against the powerful elite then there was no reason for this institution to exist.
He asked the PM and Punjab CM that how could they invite foreigners to invest in Pakistan when they took their money out of the country themselves.
He questioned the heavy investment of Sharif family in foreign properties, asking who lent billions to Sharif’s to set up their businesses abroad.
APBF President said Sharif family was unable to explain how they shifted such huge funds out of the country.
All Pakistan Business Forum President Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi said the statement of assets of the Sharif’s provided to Parliament needed examination.
He said the Panama papers had revealed very important information about the Pakistani politicians, who all had assets outside Pakistan.
“It is unfortunate that under the law of Pakistan if any Pakistani is living abroad more than six months, he doesn’t have to file income tax return because laws are made to facilitate the corrupt rulers, which is disastrous for the public as well as the country.” He demanded the prime minister to declare all his assets along with his family. He called for the leader of Pakistan to explain how his family members maintained and managed their offshore business.
Ibrahim Qureshi said the Panama papers confirmed the Sharif family controlled a vast land and property portfolio both in Pakistan as well as overseas including several homes in London’s Mayfair district.
Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi said that the government was imposing huge taxes on the poverty stricken masses and shifting the money abroad to invest in the offshore companies.
He called for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as well as the FIA to probe the Sharif family finances. “All politicians, facing the allegations, should present themselves for all kinds of inquiries and let others know how much they earn; how much tax they pay and how much money they have overseas,” he asked the government, raising concern on the recent largest international financial scam.