Prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s ousting was sparked by revelations in the leaked files from an offshore law firm. The global elite are no longer the only ones thinking and working across borders
No prime minister of Pakistan has completed a full term in power since the country won independence 70 years ago. Nawaz Sharif was a year away from doing so; instead he has been ousted for a third time. On Friday the supreme court disqualified him from office and referred the issue of his family’s offshore assets to anti-corruption authorities. Mr Sharif denies the allegations, but stood down at once; his ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party is expected to nominate a successor shortly.
Though this leaves Pakistan’s politics in turmoil, it is a very international affair. It was sparked by revelations in the Panama Papers – the unprecedented leak from an offshore law firm – concerning luxury London property, bought through British Virgin Islands companies linked to Mr Sharif’s children, who were minors at the time. In 2008, they used the Swiss arm of Deutsche Bank to borrow £7m against the flats.