A scandal is raging in Pakistan over a report claiming that the PM’s daughter, Maryam, forged documents for an investigation into illegal offshore properties using a Microsoft Word font introduced years after the documents were allegedly created.
The papers she submitted were for a team looking into unlawful offshore properties mentioned in the leaked Panama Papers.
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which was formed in May specifically to probe Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, presented its final report before the country’s Supreme Court on Monday.
Over the past two months, the investigators collected evidence and documents connected to the business dealings of the Sharif family, which has been accused of money laundering and corruption. They also recorded statements from witnesses, seven of whom were members of the Sharif family.
One of the most shocking discoveries was that the text in documents Maryam sent to the investigators , allegedly from 2006, was rendered in the “Calibri” font, which only became available on January 31, 2007, the report published by Express Tribune, says on page 54.
Calibri was developed in 2004, but only appeared in Microsoft Word in 2007, according to the news outlet.
Maryam has also been accused of accumulating “assets disproportionate and beyond means of known sources of income,” Dawn newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The JIT report said, “She had been receiving heavy gifts from Rs 73.5 million [$700,000] to Rs 830.73 million [$7,900,000] within period of 2009-2016.”
The report concluded that the “accumulation of Maryam’s assets shows a drastic hike in the early 1990s with no declared source of income.”
Sharif’s government has slammed the report, with Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal branding it “a piece of trash.”
“We throw it into the bin,” he added, claiming the allegations were “frivolous” and that “an effort has been made to malign [Sharif].”
Maryam took to Twitter to express outrage as well, vowing to contest the report’s conclusions.
However, a source close to the government has told the Express Tribune that the leadership is concerned, and the “possibility to step down will be taken into account depending on how the proceedings of the Panamagate case in the top court unfold further.”