HK Immigration and Border Control: Ban Nawaz Shareef from Visiting Hong Kong
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On 20 April 2017, The Supreme Court of Pakistan announced its judgement on alleged corruption scandal involving Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Shareef and his family as revealed in the Panama Papers. The 540 page judgement began with epigraph of Mario Puzo's novel Godfather "Behind every great fortune there is a crime - Balzac." which itself is an indication of the esteemed judges' evaluation of the allegations.
2 of the 5 judges in Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled against Nawaz Shareef and declared him unworthy to hold the Prime Minister's office due to his and his family's inability to provide any sound evidence to the honorable court including sources of income, money trail and use of funds from offshore accounts. The remaining 3 judges ruled that further investigation is necessary and ordered a formation of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to provide their report within 2 months where JIT members include representatives of military agencies as well.
Honorable Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the head of 5 member bench at the Supreme Court, noted that Nawaz Shareef is not truthful in his 13 damning remarks "Even a layman can appreciate, and one does not have to be a lawman to conclude, that what had been told to the nation, the National Assembly or even this Court about how the relevant properties in London had been acquired was not the truth." He also expressed shock at the attempt by Nawaz Shareef to suppress facts by stating "There may be many definitions of the word ‘honest’ but deliberate withholding or suppression of truth is not one of them and the same is in fact an antithesis of honesty. I am, therefore, constrained to declare that respondent No. 1 [Nawaz Shareef] has not been honest to the nation, to the representatives of the nation in the National Assembly and to this Court in the matter of explaining possession and acquisition of the relevant four properties in London." He further stated that Nawaz Shareef and his family have been nothing but evasive by noting "his family’s businesses and resources have been found by me to be nothing but evasive and the statements made by him in that regard have appeared to me to be contradictory to each other. The explanations advanced by him have also been found by me to have remained utterly unproved through any independent evidence or material and, hence, the same were quite likely to be untrue".
Pakistani community in Hong Kong is shocked to know that the alleged criminal Godfather of Pakistan with such shameful record that is full of lies and deception in the eyes of an independent judiciary is now planning to come to Hong Kong in mid-May 2017. It is outrageous to believe that he or any other person who is the central figure in such a high profile corruption case can come to visit Hong Kong while the investigation is still under process. It is clearly visible that he is trying to escape the country while JIT completes its investigation. Hong Kong, being the city with utmost respect for rule of law, should never be taken as a safe haven for criminals and we consider it our duty to remind the government that majority of the Pakistani community in Hong Kong stands firm against Nawaz Shareef who has destroyed Pakistan's economic and political fabric.
In the light of above information, Pakistani residents and every law abiding citizen of Hong Kong demand that Director Immigration Mr Tsang Kwok-wai, Erick IDSM bans Nawaz Shareef from visiting Hong Kong until the JIT has completed its report and a decision has been taken to determine whether Nawaz Shareef and his family have committed corrupt acts or not.
Allowing Nawaz Shareef to enter Hong Kong and escape from JIT in Pakistan will have a damaging impact on the reputation of Hong Kong as a city that allows alleged criminals to seek safe haven.
Pakistani community takes pride in the rule of law in Hong Kong and hopes that doors of Hong Kong can be shut forever to criminals like Nawaz Shareef until and unless proven innocent.
Also included in addressees of this petition: Chief Executive of Hong Kong Mr. C Y Leung; President Legislative Council Mr. Andrew Leung Kwan-Yuen; Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs in Hong Kong Mr. Raymond TAM.
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