The Panama Papers are not going away. Nawaz Sharif spent the day in parliament discussing the scandal, and there appears to be little sign of resolution as opposition parties walked out in response. After calling for Nawaz to resign, Imran Khan has also found himself facing problems as he was exposed as having offshore accounts also. At least Immy was honest and admitted that his offshore company was created so he could avoid paying taxes. However Imran turns out not to be the only ‘Khan’ exposed in the scandal that won’t go away. It is not learnt that AQ Khan has also been exposed in Panama Papers.
AQ Khan has denied having any offshore companies and claimed that his family members signatures were all forged as part of a huge conspiracy against him by Habib Bank.
“I have never even heard the name of this company,” A.Q. Khan told Dawn over phone. “Neither did my wife and daughters. My brother, who died a few years ago, was with Habib Bank and, as you know, bankers are always up to their tricks and hanky panky,” he said without mincing words. “My wife and daughters never signed any documents to create this company. The signatures (on the incorporation paperwork) are surely false. My brother never discussed it with me and my family only heard about this company after the Panama Papers release.”
It’s not just what AQ Khan knew about these companies that is now coming under scrutiny, though. Many are also asking how this was not discovered until so late. One name that appeared in Panama Papers list was wife of AQ Khan, Hendrina. This is not a very common name and surely a researcher would have noted it, especially a researcher like Umar Cheema who is not only a Jang/Geo reporter but also a member of the ICIJ that broke the story! Is this another case of Army’s strangle hold on media?
Surely the powers that be knew that things could not be hidden forever. Now questions are being asked who else has been ‘missed’ in the long list of offenders? So far it has been civilians who have been in the bulls eye of the Panama Papers scandal, but we know thanks to former DG-ISPR Maj-Gen (r) Rashid Qureshi that Army has been covering up corruption among military officers since long. Will we soon learn than the names of military officers appear in the Panama Papers but were not previously reported? Will these too be blamed on ‘hanky panky’ at Habib Bank?
He is known as ‘U-Turn Khan’ because of his habit of quickly changing positions to suit himself such as his strong stance against drones when America was using them to his silent approval when Pakistan using them. However there is another element of Imran Khan’s personality that is not just changing positions, he also has different standards for himself and everyone else. In other words it is sheer hypocrisy.
This hypocrisy is making waves on social media since he has declared that offshore accounts are only for crooks…except he has a difference standard for his friend Aleem Khan.
This is not the only incident, obviously, but just one example of Imran Khan’s true personality. There is also the time that Imran Khan blasted everyone for being not Pakistani enough, accusing the “Pakistani westernised elite who ape their former colonial masters” by wearing western clothes instead of shalwar kameez?
Imran Khan is a stage managed opportunist who changes his position to suit his ambitions. That is commonly known. But he is also a common hypocrite who criticises other people for not being ‘pure’ enough while holding himself, and his friends, to completely different standards.
After the international media highlighted the jihadi attack in Paris last year, many began to ask why the world gave so much attention when Westerners are killed but virtually ignore when non-Westerners are killed. It is a double standard that is to obvious not to notice. However there is another double standard that has been on display today and it is not by Westerners but here at home. I am talking about our own response to 15 innocent people killed in a bomb attack on a bus in Peshawar today.
The attack brought the usual condemnations from politicians, but these were quickly overshadowed by the nation celebrating the T20 victory over Bangladesh. Actually, even before the victory the national attention was completely focused on the match. Obviously this match brought a much needed jolt of confidence and national pride especially after the disappointing Asia Cup failure. Still I must admit my excitement was not at its full level due to the guilt I felt for celebrating while I knew that there were families grieving after another senseless terrorist attack. However many people I wonder if they even aware that we were attacked again and dozens more of our countrymen martyred?
Some people may not be fully aware because the media does appear to be under-reporting the incident possibly due to notifications not to give too much attention to the terrorists. Same excuse cannot be made for others, though. The height of insensitivity had to be when Imran Khan decided to go ahead with a celebration of Tourism Policy KP.
Another example that Kaptaan is completely out of touch with reality? How can he lead a celebration of KP tourism policy while citizens are suffering and grieving after such an attack? Or is he so out of touch with what is taking place under his nose that he is even unaware when a blast takes place?
I am not denying that Westerners are more sensitive when Westerners are killed. This is something that we must find a way to overcome because defeating the terrorists needs all people to unify against extremism. We must also make sure that we are not also accusing Westerners of doing what we are doing also. Today we suffered another senseless terrorist attack that killed 15 of our brothers and sisters, but for many of us it seems like nothing happened. How can we expect others to appreciate our sacrifice when we do not appreciate it ourselves?
Imran Khan has objected to being called ‘Taliban Khan’, but it is a fact that he has supported the Taliban’s war against the state in Afghanistan. The PTI chief told reporters that he believes Taliban are fighting legitimate jihad against foreign occupation. He has also famously demanded that TTP be allowed to open an office in Pakistan. Now another celebrity has taken up the pro-Taliban position. Hamza Ali Abbasi posted on Facebook singing Taliban’s praises.
It is not an unusual statement as many are praising the Taliban for freeing Shahbaz Taseer. However, the Taliban have strongly denied that they were involved.
“We are unaware of the incident. Our Mujahideen had never been involved in it. We had neither held him (Shahbaz Taseer) nor recovered him,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said. When asked about reports that the Taliban have issued a statement confirming the rumours, Mujahid told The Express Tribune, “This is baseless. We have not issued any statement as the issue does not relate to us and no question arises to comment on it,” he said.
This raises the question, who were media’s “reliable sources” that were pushing the narrative that Taliban were the heroes of the Shahbaz Taseer rescue?
The appearance is that individuals in influential circles that would be considered a reliable source of Taliban movements in restricted areas were acting as Taliban propagandists and trying to white wash the Taliban and especially Haqqani Network by fooling people that they played an important role in freeing Shahbaz.
So who is trying to give the appearance that Taliban, and especially those factions that have been very close to ISI, are heroes, and what are they trying to accomplish? Who would have the media connections to plant such fake stories that try to make the Taliban into heroes? It is a question that will probably never be officially answered.
Imran Khan told Hamid Mir today during his programme that a senior Taliban commander was treated at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore. With Imran Khan’s history of openly supporting the Taliban, many immediately took this news as more proof of the PTI chief’s ‘Taliban Khan’ moniker. However, doctors are correctly pointing out that treatment is given to any patient without asking about their religion or politics. In Afghanistan, wounded Taliban militants are even treated next to Afghan soldiers. Therefore, the question is not why a Imran Khan’s hospital treated a Taliban commander, but why he was not treated in Afghanistan but rather in Lahore. Continue reading