Panama Papers leaks: Two ex-judges decline to head PM’s inquiry commission

Published: April 9, 2016
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Nasirul Mulk, Sair Ali. PHOTO: FILE

Nasirul Mulk, Sair Ali. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The government is still unable to notify the high-level judicial inquiry commission announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks as two former members of the superior judiciary have refused to take up the task.

Nawaz’s two sons and a daughter have been named in the documents leaked from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca for owning offshore businesses. While denying any wrongdoing, the PM has announced a judicial probe into the allegations against his family.

PM Nawaz forms judicial commission to probe Panama Papers

A senior official told The Express Tribune two former Supreme Court judges – Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk and Justice (retd) Sair Ali – have shown unwillingness to lead the high-level inquiry commission.

“Now the government officials are also contacting other
retired judges but no one has given a positive response to take up this task till now,” he said, while speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Sources said no credible retired judge will show willingness to be part of the probe in view of the opposition parties’ reservations over formation of the commission under retired judges.

While legal experts believe that it will be difficult for the incumbent superior judiciary to accept the government’s request to give a judge for probing the Panama Papers, the government, according to an official, is also not interested to form the commission under a serving judge.

“If a reasonable retired judge is not available then the government may consider the offer of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Ali Zafar to probe the Panama Papers leaks,” he said, adding that a senior official had already consulted Zafar, seeking his point of view on the commission.

The SCBA president has also urged the judiciary to refrain from taking up the issue.

Imran Khan demands commission headed by CJP to probe Panama Papers revelations

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, State Minister Zahid Hamid and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Law Barrister Zafarullah are busy finalising the Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the proposed commission.

A senior lawyer associated with the ruling PML-N, however, expressed wonder over the prime minister’s announcement to form an inquiry commission, adding that the pronouncement was made in haste and now the ToRs should be made after overseeing all legal implications.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • YP Mississauga
    Apr 9, 2016 - 9:58AM

    I see every where Dar and only Dar.Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Apr 9, 2016 - 11:19AM

    ISLAMABAD:The government is still unable to notify the high-level judicial inquiry commission announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks as two former members of the superior judiciary have refused to take up the task.
    Every one can cerebrate about it that what does it mean and why PML-N is appointing the its blue eyed judges for Panama Papers’ probe instead of honest and sincere international auditors or NAB’s and FIA’s officers who have experience in money laundering cases’ investigation.And here a the most importnt question rises,id est,how can the judged investigate the financial and money laundering matters and are there any financial and accounting subjects in the laws’ books the lawyers and judges read?Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Apr 9, 2016 - 12:08PM

    Ifthikar Choudhry will be ready for this commission. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 9, 2016 - 12:55PM

    From what little I understand if a retired justice heads this commission it will simply be a ‘ fact finding ‘ commission with very limited powers ( appears Nawaz wants this ) AND NOT a judicial commission as is being loudly proclaimed. Past history has not been kind to the reputations of retired judges who have take on such assignments. Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Apr 9, 2016 - 1:23PM

    The logical choice appears to be the judge who is reported to have

    an offshore company in Panama. Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Apr 9, 2016 - 2:58PM

    PM should also make a commission to investigate investment of Pakistani public’s Zakat money by Shaukat Khanum Trust in offshore realestate company in Oman through Imtiaz Hydari’s HBG holdings. Zakat was donated and entrusted to Shaukat Khanum for spending on needy patients’s medical expenses. If offshore companies and investments of Shaukat Khanum and that too of Zakat money is legal then they should not do finger pointing at others..Recommend

  • Petrolhead
    Apr 9, 2016 - 3:09PM

    Former CJ Nasirul Mulk is perfect from Noon point of view. How come he’s a credible judge after what happened during the 2013 general elections judicial commission?Recommend

  • Mohammed
    Apr 9, 2016 - 4:28PM

    What are the Sharifs scared off, and not only them, their supporters are just as scared. If the PM has nothing to hide, hold the judicial commission with a forensic audit and if they are innocent, they can ram it down the throat of the critics.Recommend

  • Apr 9, 2016 - 4:33PM

    And once again nothing will happen….
    Even if a committee is formed, they will make a sub committee…. and another committee… then nothingRecommend

  • salman
    Apr 9, 2016 - 5:50PM

    @Imran Qadri:
    This is exactly what Imran Khan said in parliament! If PTV showed opposition speeches you would have seen it! Nawaz should do this, in depth forensic investigation of all named in Panama leaks + SKMH not named in Panama leaks…what do you think?Recommend

  • salman
    Apr 9, 2016 - 5:57PM

    @Imran Qadri:
    You are aware that pmln are getting this from the hospital audit report itself? Too bad they choose to ignore the fact the the money iinvested by the endowment fund, which IK does not even control, was returned in full by HBG holdings in June2015. Even in 2012 when pmln first raised tthis issue HBG clarified that the initial investment is protected, and now it has been returned. Further the hospital also that zakhat money is not invested in eendowment fund, but donations from abroad.. Lastly, pretty much all charaties which collect surplus money invest it. Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Apr 9, 2016 - 8:59PM

    @salman

    What can one do when Khan’s supporters are gullible and believe everything he says and can’t pick out his hypocrisy. Panama leaks is only for offshore companies registered in Panama by this one specific company. It doesn’t cover offshore companies registered in other places or oman like the one used by Imran’s friend Imtiaz Hydari’s HBG holding to invest in Oman’s real estate. If Imran’s friend use charity money given by public for needy patients and invest that money in offshore companies then all that is Kosher but if others invest in offshore companies and use to to avoid taxes then Imran cries foul.

    In BaniGala palace’s 300 kanal land transaction Imran’s tax consultant/lawyer used tax avoidance tactic i.e. “benami transaction”. Therefore its all legal and kosher if Imran’s consultants help him avoid taxes but if other use similar legally available options or loopholes then Imran becomes furious. Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Apr 9, 2016 - 9:09PM

    You won’t see Imran Khan do a long march against Zadari/Rehman Malik or Benazir’s offshore companies . His ex wife’s sisters in law and his son’s aunts from rothschild family run Rothschild Trust which does exactly this business of creating offshore companies to help rich clients avoid taxes through legally available options like tax heavens..

    No dharna against his in laws.. Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 9, 2016 - 9:46PM

    Not even a fool would come forward for the Hog Wash mission. Time has run out f or the Sharifs and all other politicians who are associated with off shore accountsnor.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • F Khan
    Apr 9, 2016 - 10:27PM

    Which judge of repute and conscience will take this challenge to investigate the issue when he knows that in case of honest report not favouring PTI & IK views they will be called bikao, corrupt and b team of PMLN from the top of a container for 6 months every hour every day.Recommend

  • salman
    Apr 10, 2016 - 3:19AM

    @Imran Qadri:
    That’s the thing, I don’t have to believe IK because i can read the audited report of hospital wwhich states the investment was retuned in full from HGB. I actually agreed with your first comment, there should be a commission to investigate SKMH and IK with depth forensic investigation, and thisshould cover eeveryone mentioned in Panamaleaks. Do you agree?

    Although i do have to wonder why govthas suddenly become concerned by SKMH the day after pPanamaleaks broke iinstead of the 3 years they have been in power.

    Regarding offshore companies – the issue is not offshoreccompanies, but source of funds that need clarification.Recommend

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