Islamabad: Over 250 Pakistanis, including senior officials and the mother of a woman filmmaker who won two Oscars this year, have been listed in the biggest-ever global data leaks as having offshore companies.
According to the details made available by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) through an online searchable database, at least 259 Pakistanis have been named with links to offshore companies.
They include several influential people including Abdul Sattar Dero, former general manager of the Port Qasim Authority; Shaukat Ahmed, the ex-president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI); and Saba Obaid, mother of renowned filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
The Dawn reported that the database contains ownership information about companies created in 10 offshore jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and Singapore. It covers nearly 30 years until 2010.
The fresh digital cache includes names of members of Pakistan's business elite but it is not immediately ascertainable whether the documents contain names of political heavyweights like the explosive April 3 Panama leaks that named Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's children Maryam, Hassan and Hussain among other world leaders having offshore wealth.
The release of more names with link to offshore companies may soften pressure on Sharif, who faced angry opposition demanding his resignation over the Panama scandal.
Sharif last month asked Supreme Court to probe all listed in the Panama papers, while opposition parties want his probe first.
When asked to comment, filmmaker Obaid-Chinoy told the Dawn, "I fully support ICIJ and the laudable efforts being made by it. I would, however, like to clarify that in that my name is not mentioned in the Panama leaks and I am neither the legal nor the beneficial owner of any enterprise mentioned in the Panama Papers.
"There is a mention of my mother, Mrs. Saba Obaid and I say with confidence that the off-shore companies mentioned in the Panama Papers as being owned by my mother are compliant with the applicable laws," says Obaid-Chinoy....