What is Fontgate?

The Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) accused Maryam Nawaz Sharif of forging documents in two 2006 declarations made by her using the Calibri font which was released to the public in the year 2007. The online community has termed this forgery as 'fontgate'.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 13, 2017 1:07 pm
Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Calibri font, microsoft font, Calibri, Maryam forged documents, Panama Papers 2016, world news Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. (File Photo)

The Calibri font of Microsoft has come under the limelight after it became a factor in a corruption scandal involving the daughter of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has accused Maryam Nawaz Sharif of forging documents in two 2006 declarations made by her using the Calibri font which was released to the public in the year 2007. The online community has termed this forgery as ‘fontgate’.

The corruption scandal revolved around Nescoll, a British company which had Maryam as the only shareholder leading to an investigation by the country’s Supreme Court. It was one of the owners of a high-end London property bought by the Sharif family in 1998. The forged documents were Maryam’s declaration of her ties with the company which brought to light the disparity between their declared family wealth and what the investigation has revealed.

In order to verify these accusations, Pakistan’s media and opposition parties checked the date of release of the font on Wikipedia, which was allegedly tampered to say Calibri was released in 2004 itself. The Wikipedia page further says that the font was made available for commercial use from January 30, 2007.

Following allegations of tampering with data on the Wikipedia page, the online encyclopedia has restricted editing the page on Calibri “until July 18 2017, or until editing disputes have been resolved”, The Guardian report said.

People welcomed the block on editing as they believe that supporters of the Sharif family are trying to alter facts to protect them. Pakistan’s Opposition parties are using it against Nawaz Sharif and asking him to step down on ‘moral grounds’. Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan asked for Sharif’s resignation saying he has “lost all moral authority”. Jamaat-e-Islami party leader, Sirajul Haq, also called for the Prime Minister to step down.

Nawaz Sharif has denied the allegations with his allies also coming in his support calling the accusations “trash” and ” full of flaws”.

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