To be completely honest, it is almost impossible to know for sure. Pakistani politics is really unpredictable but after reviewing the facts, figures and history of such cases, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to guess just the right thing.
Start of the Panama Case
It all started after Imran Khan threatened to hold anti-government rally and lockdown the capital if his demands were not met. The greatest cricketer to ever walk the earth was now a voice of millions who were ready to get behind their leader, seeking justice from the highest judicial authority of Pakistan.
Although thousands of protesters showed up, the rally never took place as the Supreme Court accepted Imran Khan’s petition to hold the case one day before it and so a ‘celebratory’ walk took place instead.
“On the Supreme Court’s advice, we have decided that tomorrow we will thank God and celebrate a day of thanks at [Islamabad’s] parade ground,” Imran Khan told the media a day before the rally was to be held.
Similar cases and the decisions taken
Ever since he Panama Papers were leaked to the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, more than 150 political figures around the world came under its relentless claws. From the likes of King of Saudi Arabia, President of Argentina to Iceland’s Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister of United Kingdom, David Cameron was asked to disclose his financial assets to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority after he was found to be linked with the Panama Papers leak. Very much like Nawaz’s case, David’s only relation to the Panama Papers was his family, his late father in fact, who helped create and develop Blairmore Holdings Inc. in Panama in 1982 and was involved in the investment fund until his death in 2010. Although only after three days of stalling and four partial statements after the Panama Papers leak, he confessed that he owned shares in the Blairmore Holdings Inc. which he sold for £31,500 just before becoming prime minister in 2010. He was let go after a thorough investigation and a broken reputation.
“because I didn’t want anyone to say you have other agendas or vested interests” replied David Cameron when asked why he sold the shares in 2010.
“one more attempt to destabilize the internal situation (and) make us more accommodating” – Vladimir Putin told the press,
“Your humble servant was not there [named in the files], but they don’t talk about that. So what did they do? They make an information product – they found acquaintances and friends.”
Argentinian President, Mauricio Marci ties with the Bahamas-based company, Fleg Trading, which were revealed by the leak as well but that didn’t take away the presidential office from him, instead Macri’s government has proposed a tax amnesty bill that aims to shield tax evaders who have undeclared holdings and assets inside Argentina and abroad.
“I know there are people who are concerned about the accusations,” Mauricio Marci told his nation. “I have acted in accordance with the law, I have told the truth and I have nothing to hide.”
His case, was similar to Nawaz’s case as well. He was not legally obliged to declare his connection because he never had a stake in the company nor received any income. Fleg Trading was created by his father – an Italian-born business tycoon – to make investments in Brazil. It is now closed. Nawaz Sharif, in the first ever appearance in the National Assembly talked about how his father worked hard to make their business what it is now.
“Today, people living in bungalows and commuting in helicopters are accusing me of misconduct, can they explain it before the nation as to how they earned all this money and how much tax they paid,” said Nawaz Sharif, appearing before the National Assembly for the first time after Panama Papers leak.
China left every other country behind them in burying the case when, only days after the Panama Papers leak, the Communist Party reportedly ordered news organizations to “self-inspect and delete all content related to the ‘Panama Papers’ leak”
Internet access was denied to major news websites as seven members of the Communist party’s elite ruling council, including the relatives of the president, Xi Jinping, were featured in the Panama Papers.
Just like this, while the Pakistani government still denies it, a number of news channels are strong partners of the ruling government and only run news in favor of the party.
Imran Khan v. Nawaz Sharif – Evidence
Now coming back to Imran Khan v Nawaz Sharif and family case, Nawaz Sharif’s defense is based on a number of points. One of them is that the offshore properties and companies are owned and run by Hussain Nawaz who’s been living abroad for more than 16 years now. The defense claims that Hussain Nawaz has been doing business according to Pakistan’s Foreign Act and other Pakistani laws including the income tax laws. According to these laws, any person who is living abroad for more than 180 days or more do not need to file the income tax papers and declare the assets.
And as for the reports about Nawaz’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, there is no denying the fact that she is a trustee of Hussain Nawaz’s offshore companies. The defense told the court that a trustee is not the owner but a mere agent of the owner and thus not guilty.
On the other hand, Imran Khan provided strong evidence against the defense, PTI counsel Naeem Bokhari cited a number of communications, such as the June 12, 2012 letter from the British Virgin Islands’ Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) to Mossack Fonseca (The Law firm providing off-shore company services, which published the Panama Papers) Money Laundering Reporting Officer J. Nizbeth Maduro, raising queries about Nescoll Limited and Nielson Enterprises Limited — the companies that owned the four London flats.
The counsel also provided acknowledgement of the Samba Financial Group, Jeddah, certifying that Maryam was one of their valued customers since 2002, while highlighting that Maryam did not have the resources to buy the London flats.
She allegedly acted as a tool to launder money for her father, of whom she was a dependant, and received gifts from father and brother, PTI’s Counsel argued.
Along with other evidence not disclosed to the general public.
As for the decision, no one knows who will win this case for real but I’m pretty sure you can guess by now.
The decision will be announced before 20th April.