ISLAMABAD: The differences between the government and Opposition over the Terms of Reference (ToRs) to investigate Panama leaks are getting severe. The government, instead of explaining its own position, seems to have tasked itself to find out the off shore companies of Opposition parties, which are equally beneficiaries.
The new leak about Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan owing an off shore companies gives fresh blood to the government’s defensive campaign over Panama leaks.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Information Minister Pervez Rasheed said PTI lawmakers had the highest number of offshore companies when compared with other political parties of Pakistan.
"When you look at the record, it is quite clear that PTI lawmakers have the highest number of offshore companies when compared with lawmakers from other political parties."
Pervez Rasheed also called the PTI chief a "pioneer of off-shore companies", repeating a phrase used by the premier's daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, earlier on Twitter.
The federal minister also took a sweep at Imran, and said "he has a weak memory", referring to the PTI chief's recent revelation regarding an offshore company used to buy his apartment in London.
“Imran Khan remembers the number of wickets he took and the number of runs he scored in 1980, but forgot about his off-shore company which was established in 1983.” Rasheed said.
Imran Khan, Jehangir Tareen, Aleem Khan, MPA Tarakai and Senator Tarakai have links with off-shore companies, added Rasheed.
He also added that Imran's sister also has an offshore company, while refusing to name her out of respect.
According to what he (Imran Khan) has stated earlier, all those possessing offshore companies are tax evaders, hence all the individuals named are tax evaders, stated the federal minister.
“Only one member of PPP is associated with an off-shore company," said Rasheed while giving a comparison of PTI with other political parties.
The federal minister also claimed that not a single parliamentarian or minister from PML-N has an offshore company.
Imran Khan admitted he formed an offshore company to buy the London flat in 1983 to evade British taxes.
He said he formed the offshore firm on the advice of his accountant to evade taxes during his playing days to buy a flat in London.
"I was already paying 35 per cent tax on my income there, so to evade further taxes, I bought the flat through an offshore firm, which was my right as I was not a British citizen," Imran told the reporters.
PTI spokesperson Naeemul Haq also admitted that his party chief had formed a 'legal' offshore company through his earnings from cricket, which owned his London flat.