Claim: PMLN Leader Maryam Nawaz’s son Junaid Safdar’s name came up in the Pandora Papers.
Following the revelations in the Pandora Papers, featuring names of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers as well as Opposition members, some channels shared the news that Junaid Safdar, who is the son of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz, also has five offshore companies registered in his name.
As per reports, the government-run channel, Pakistan Television Network (PTV), aired the news of Junaid Safdar’s offshore companies.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aide, Dr Shahbaz Gill, shared an image of PTV News with his tweet about Junaid Safdar’s offshore companies.
Shahbaz Gill, while speaking on ARY News programme ‘Sawal Yeh Hai’, backed the news stating that PTV broke the news of Maryam Nawaz’s son owning offshore companies. “It is not possible that when it comes to theft or hiding information, we don’t see Maryam Baji’s [Maryam Nawaz’s] name there. Her son’s three to five companies have also been uncovered.”
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also took to Twitter and tweeted, “The latest information is that there are five offshore companies in the name of Junaid Safdar, son of Maryam Nawaz. How much money does this family need?”
Chaudhry also claimed the same in Nadia Mirza’s programme on Dawn News.
In response to the news, which was shared by a section of the media quoting state-run PTV, Maryam Nawaz issued a statement saying that if the TV channel that ran the news does not apologise immediately, she will take them to court and file a defamation lawsuit.
Responding to a suggestion by someone to seek legal action in the UK, she said that if the UK desk aired it, the family will sue them there too.
However, Aoun Sahi from PTV — in response to senior journalist Nasim Zehra — refuted the claims of the news of Junaid Safdar being run on the channel and tweeted, “PTV hasn’t run the story. It’s photoshopped ma’am.”
Umar Cheema and Fakhar Durrani, the two journalists from The News who participated in the Pandora Papers investigation from Pakistan, were asked by Geo News about Junaid Safdar’s name in the Pandora Papers. They both said they did not come across Junaid Safdar’s name during their investigation.
“We checked the names of each member of the Sharif family,” Durrani said.
Umar Cheema also tweeted that a Twitter account by the name of ‘PandoraLeaks’ is fake. The account tweeted: “Our research has found out that Junaid Safdar, grandson of former PM Nawaz Shareef has 3 shell and 2 offshore companies in Seychelles and Virgin Islands.”
The account has since been deleted.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which has been investigating international finance and tax havens, has released a detailed list of public figures with offshore companies called the ‘Pandora Papers’ as part of their new investigation.