Monday (October 4th): Pakistan’s Pandora Papers

Imran Khan - Pakistan
Imran Khan

Name? Imran Khan

Westphalian identity? Pakistani

Age? 68

Why is he in the news? Yesterday, an international network of journalists published their findings of the Pandora Papers, the third big leak informing the public about tax avoidance methods and popular actors involved. One of them not mentioned is Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. But revelations name more than 700 Pakistani citizens, including ministers, Khan’s political allies and families of military officers.

Why do we care? 336 high ranking politicians are mentioned by name in the papers. Among them are the King of Jordan, the Czech Prime Minister, the President of Azerbaijan and the President of Ukraine. This is a long list of corrupt politicians, but who is really surprised here? The only question is which of them will survive this politically? Khan’s chances are not too bad, but given that so many close to him are involved, one must critically assess his judgement. 

Why should you care? Neither the Panama nor Paradise Papers had any long-term consequences for tax havens. We predict the Pandora Papers will not change anything. So you should care 5/10 about politicians being corrupt, but your interest will fade as soon as the media rush dies down. If anything we should start thinking about what alliteration journalists will use for the next leaks … Panorama Papers … Panacea Papers … Parallelogram Papers?

Who else cares? The President of Ukraine, Zelensky, an outspoken corruption fighter, will have it more difficult than the King of Jordan and the President of Azerbaijan, who should be fine. Similarly to Khan, Zelensky’s platform has been anti-corruption. Unlike Khan, he is directly involved and may feel consequences soon. 

Any further comments? Khan tweeted today that the UN SG’s Panel FACTI calculated a staggering $7 trillion in tax havens. Just imagine what we could do with all of this money, build schools for girls in Afghanistan. Well, their fault, why don’t the Afghani girls have off-shore accounts?

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator