Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his government will investigate citizens linked to a massive leak on hidden global wealth. The Pandora Papers link hundreds of Pakistanis, including members of PM Imran Khan's cabinet, to wealth secretly moved through offshore companies.
They rank among history's biggest financial leaks, exposing dealings of global business and political figures. Prime Minister Imran Khan said he would take action if any wrongdoing was established. The secret assets were uncovered by a global investigation based on 12 million files leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
According to Pakistani media reports, more than 700 people in the country were named in the papers, among them two members of the cabinet. According to the leaked documents, Shaukat Tarin, the country's finance minister, and members of his family owned four offshore firms.
Tariq Fawad Malik, a financial adviser who handled the paperwork for the companies, told the ICIJ that the companies were set up by the Tarin family with the intention of investing in a bank with Saudi business connections. But the deal did not proceed.
The leaked documents also suggest that Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, the minister for water resources, pulled out of making planned investments through offshore tax havens after he was warned the investment would be reported to the country's tax authorities.
PM Imran Khan said in a Twitter post on Monday that he welcomed the revelations in the papers. In 2016, before becoming prime minister, he spearheaded opposition demands to open an enquiry after offshore interests of the country's elite were exposed in a previous leak, the Panama papers.
According to the ICIJ, more than 600 journalists from 117 countries worked on the Pandora Papers documents.