TORs on Panama Leaks – Confusion created by Govt has been clarified by Aitzaz Ahsan

Courtesy: Social Media


BRIEF responses to Govt.’s case as presented in Press Conference of Interior and Law Ministers:

1.  Nisar Ali and Zahid Hamid say: “PM singled out by Opposition TORs”.
i). PM has himself been boasting that he has presented himself and his family for accountability. Why panic if Opp. puts him first?
ii).  The buck stops at the PM.
iii).  The Opp TORs make NO difference between the PM and the others named.  All of them required to make the  SAME disclosures. ONLY the PM comes FIRST. He himself asked for it.

2. NA and ZH say that “Opp TORs are unconstitutional because they put burden of proof on the accused”.
BUT: The fact is that in ALL corruption inquiries univ, after a property has been proved, or admitted to belong to the accused, it is always for him to prove that it was procured through legitimate means and resources. That burden is on him. This is universally so, even under the 1997 Act made by Nawaz Sharif himself. Also accepted by the Supreme Court in Asfandyar Wali Case.

3. NA and ZH say that “Opp TORs are unconstitutional because they will apply retrospectively”:
BUT all Corruption laws must apply retrospectively because they are promulgated to address prevailing corruption. Even the 1997 Law made by PMLN. In fact the NAB Ord, which has been accepted by PMLN as it has not amended it despite having 2/3 majority, applies since 1985. Also the Supreme Court upheld it in Asfandyar Wali’s case. All Opp TORs say is that ALL named persons must declare year wise their assets and Income Tax. Why should PM have any hesitation in doing so with all the rest?

4. NA and ZH said: “Opp TORs restricted to PANAMA Papers alone and Opp wants to protect bank defaulters and other corrupt elements”:
BUT: Panama Leaks disclose a special genus of crime: cross jurisdictional.  Special law and expertise is required. For all other offences there are all manner of laws and agencies, FIA, NAB, FBR at the disposal of the Govt. WHY does it not take action. Opp is not stopping it. This is such a langra bahana.

5. NA and ZH said: “PM not named in Pan Papers, so why is HE the subject of Opp inquiry?”
i). PM himself offered himself for accountability. Now having cold feet?
ii).  Opp TORs include “spouses, parents, children, grand children” of ALL respondents named in PPapers. Who keeps offshore assets just in his own name? Hence if HUSSAIN NAWAZ is named (and admits), PM also falls in category like ALL others named. No discrimination.
iii). Nisar himself, in 2012 interview, admitted PM owned the Mayfair Apptmnts for last 18 yrs in line with allegations that PM purchased these properties in 1993-4.
iv).  Kulsum Nawaz admitted in interview with Guardian in 2000 that these props bought by NS for children’s education.

6.  NA and ZH said: “Those who evade taxes are making max noise”:
BUT: PM himself paid ZERO Income Tax 1994-96 just at the time when, according to his Int Min, he was purchasing this highly valuable estate.

7.  NA and ZH said: “Opp dictating SCt”.
HOW?  If anyone wants to over awe the SCt it is always PMLN. Opp wants CJP to head Commission but not with TORs formulated by the accused himself.

8.  Nisar and Zahid also said: “Opp has mala fide intent as they do not want to fight corruption. Only want to nail the PM”.
BUT:  PM in first address to the nation himself (rightly) said that any one who has najaiz wealth does not keep it in his own name. Of course. That is why the curtains and ‘veils’ of offshore companies: Nielson, Nescom, Minerva, Corporate Holdings etc have been used by PM and his kids.

9.  The ONLY Opp TOR which is exclusive to the PM is the one about his status as a State Guest in Saudi Arabia after a deal between him and the Govt.s of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. As a State Guest neither him nor those that went voluntarily with him, had a special status. They volunteered to remain in ‘Pak custody’ even there and were not allowed out of Saudi Arabia without consent of Mush regime. All gifts and funds received by them as such ‘prisoners’ should be forfeit to Pak Govt.