Panama Papers are an issue of transparency: IMF chief

On the final day of her maiden two-day visit to Pakistan, the IMF Managing Director in her concluding press conference alongside Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said accountability and transparency was the right course forward for the country.

By: PTI | Islamabad | Published:October 25, 2016 8:36 pm

Panama Papers and Bahama Leaks are a matter of honesty, transparency and accountability, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday, amidst demand for the resignation of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges.

On the final day of her maiden two-day visit to Pakistan, the IMF Managing Director in her concluding press conference alongside Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said accountability and transparency was the right course forward for the country.

“And that is the best way to go forward whether it is Panama or Bahama or whatsoever,” she said in response to a question regarding alleged involvement of Pakistani leaders in Panama Papers scandal.

She said technological progress and access to information will make it impossible to run and hide, Dawn reported.

Lagarde also indicated that the perception of corruption was hurting Pakistan’s prospects to grow.

“Pakistan ranks 117 out of 168 countries in perceived corruption,” she said while referring to the Corruption Perceptions Index.

She said although direct social and economic losses are difficult to measure, even a perception of corruption deters private investment and impedes efforts aimed at promoting sustainable and inclusive growth.

“Increasing transparency, making people accountable and removing red tape can help” address the issue of perception of corruption, she was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.

In his reply to a question about the Panama Papers, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said there is no justification of the political agitation regarding the case.

He said the issue is lying in court and the hearing of the case in this regard will be held on November 1.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s sit-in in Islamabad on November 2 demanding Prime Minister Sharif’s resignation will cause inconvenience to the people and affect business and economy.

Sharif and some his family members are accused of illegally transferring money abroad after the Panama Papers leaks showed his family of possessing properties in the UK.

Sharif and his family have dismissed the allegations of money laundering and denied any wrongdoing.