Published On: Mon, Nov 6th, 2017

Offshore holdings of Shaukat Aziz Named in Paradise Papers

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Offshore holdings of Shaukat AzizOffshore holdings of Shaukat Aziz have come to surface in the latest leaks “Paradise Papers.” Paradise papers have exposed the most powerful elite of politics.

Shaukat Aziz was the Prime Minister of Pakistan from 2004 to 2007. His was the main name from Pakistan that came across in the new leaks.

Previously, Mr Aziz was one of the shareholders and directors of Bahamas-registered Citi trust Limited from 1997 to 1999.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) representative Umar Cheema told the Geo News that, “Shaukat Aziz set up the Antarctic Trust in the name of his wife, three children and granddaughter weeks before he came to Pakistan to lead the finance ministry.”

Furthermore, it was also informed that the assets were not declared by Shaukat Aziz while submitting his nomination papers to Election Commission of Pakistan.

The ICIJ upheld that the Antarctic Trust held most of Mr Aziz’s assets made when he worked at Citicorp. Furthermore, it was also mentioned that the assets were made before he came to Pakistan.

Former chairman of the National Insurance Corporation Limited, Ayaz Khan Niazi, is also named in the Paradise Papers.

The leaks comprise of 13.4 million files from “a combination of offshore service providers and the company registries of some of the world’s most secretive countries.”

The documents include loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork from Appleby, a leading offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda, as well as files from a smaller trust company, Asiaciti.

The paradise papers have also send shock waves in the US, with 13 members of the Trump’s administration named, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Louis Ross Jr.

Furthermore, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Queen Noor of Jordan, former Canadian prime ministers Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Brian Mulroney and pop stars Madonna and Bono of U2 are also named in the latest documents.

Offshore holdings of Shaukat Aziz may surge another controversy and uproar in Pakistan with respect to non-disclosure of assets.

About the Author

- Junaid Ashraf has a Master of Philosophy degree in government and public policy. He has international publications through Taylor & Francis, a leading British publishing body. He regularly write columns for newspapers. His interests include international political economy, geopolitics and good governance. He writes for Asia Times.