Republica de Panama a former Spanish settlement is sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The landscape offers an amazing opportunity for tourism and tax-free zone offers to set up offshore companies; the choice between both is up to you. In other words, you will be in Panama for blonde or for pelf.
A German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung obtained the records of some staggering 11.5 million files from the database of Mossack Fonseca, through a source which is anonymous. Mossack Fonseca is the fourth biggest law firm of the world, which exclusively deals with offshore companies and formalities related to them. The records were shared with the international consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ); they shared it with BBC after through scrutiny. The primary figure who got this data from an unknown person is Bastian Obermayer from Suddeutsche Zeitung.
The report soon surfaced to be perused by every media outlet. An anticipated storm in form of breaking and exclusive news broke everywhere. The names mentioned in the report were well known and followed by the public, from a politician to a sports star, someone from every known profession was in the report in one way or the other. The next thing to come was the protest; at some places, mobs were in the throng and at other, a humble protest was seen. The first person to abdicate from his seat was prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davio.
A formal investigation was launched against the high-profile officials of UEFA. Russian president Vladimir Putin, through a friend named Sergei Roldugin, hid some two billion dollars in offshore companies, with several million in the Ski resort, the place where his daughter got married in 2013.
The above mentioned few names are from rich countries, a struggling third world country like ours may lag behind in other fields of life but not here, thanks to many names that evaded tax and stored their money in offshore companies. The main face to cover them all up was our sitting prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.
The numerous tirades, the harangue at occasions by Shreef brothers, with a plethora of vows to bring back the looted wealth of Pakistan from Swiss Banks was nothing but platitudes of sheer lies? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me thrice and that makes me a Pakistani voter. The truth about the rulers was out since long but now it is more visible than ever; still if intrigues the believe or not to believe cliché to you, then this line of Soren Kierkegaard might help:
‘There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn’t true, the other is to refuse to believe what is true.’
A reality can be dilapidated by some event of future which may successfully negate the earlier findings, an established truth can be laughed off in the guise of scepticism, but, some realities and some truths are too tenacious to be treated that way. Panama Leaks are going to be the most embarrassing scandal to go down in the history of Pakistan; a truth so humiliating, a reality too adhesive.
Many people are still indifferent to this scandal and apparently, it failed to register itself in a capacity to their senses, where one is bound to feel concerned. To many, it pricked to the maximum and upon seeing the level of purloining of their money they were left appalled. Marcel Proust quite effectively explains this phenomenon which is between a patriotic citizen and a country which is too beloved to him in his six-volume novel, In search of lost time which is here, displeased people and their country.
“And to see her look displeased destroyed all the calm and serenity she had brought me a moment before.”
The pedagogy of corruption comes from the lot, who, in sheer ignorance of the public and on dint of their luck, are being elected again and again to eradicate the same vice. A law, a strict law with no loopholes at all can help to keep the money in the country.
They say when a cat is too fond of milk and will fearlessly overturn every tumbler in the search, then, the best thing is to bell the cat. Now, every time the cat tries to reach for the milk in whatever way, you’ll know and sooner than the later cat will learn and hence will cease taking this traceable endeavour. One problem solved and knocks another, more pressing than the whilom. What if cat paws down the latch of the bell in halves and once again set on the mischief, for which you are relieved now, thinking that it isn’t going to happen again. To overcome this might-be occurrence, make sure that the law made to keep a check on crooks for sending their accumulated black money is strong enough to undergo the ordeal of being gnawed by their filthy paws and aggrandize.
The public, the voter, the one on the receiving end of the guile of ruling elite, sacrificed lives to get rid of rapacious and ill intent masters of pre-partition, just to be treated in the same manner by the masters made at home and boring local names. Take it as a satire even if it isn’t, Jean Paul Sartre once wrote, ‘Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.’
In recent years the one institution which has successfully reaffirmed its influence and respect is the institution of judiciary. Time has come for the court to decide the case in favour of this country, even if the price is to be given by sacrificing a sacred cow. If the court goes for a decision, where a commission is to be established, then, it is a half victory for PML-N already. If the prime minister is sent home, then a precedent will establish for all the politicians, and if he isn’t sent home, then it will be a precedent too, but with a meaning only understandable to the politicians to come and vie for the seat of premier in near future.