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ISLAMABAD: A day after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced formation of a high-level cell to probe the recently release Pandora leaks, which exposed secret fortunes of 700 Pakistanis, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Vawda on Tuesday said that he is ready to be investigated first as a "test case".

The senator, who was named in Pandora leaks, welcomed the formation of a high-level commission under PM Inspection Commission, which will probe all Pakistanis named in Pandora Papers scandal, saying he is ready to be probed.

"Only [Prime Minister] Imran Khan can take bold decision of Pandora Papers inquiry. I welcome it and request PM Imran Khan to direct the inquiry team to work 12-14 hours on [a] daily basis and bring the results in five days and [the] nation should see it," he tweeted.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Monday, set up a "high-level cell" to investigate 700 Pakistanis, including cabinet ministers, pensioned military generals and businessmen, who were named in the Pandora leaks - a huge tranche of leaked data on offshore companies.

In another tweet, Vawda said he was ready to accept any punishment awarded to him if he was found guilty.

"But also tell if I'm proven right what will be the punishment for so-called investigative journalists for misrepresenting facts, defaming and sensitisation?," he asked.

A day after the prime minister welcomed the Pandora leaks, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Monday announced that the cell was formed under the Prime Minister's Inspection Commission and it will question all individuals who were part of the Pandora Leaks.

Though the premier has vowed to investigate all Pakistanis named in the scandal, his approach is different than he had taken when the Panama Papers had emerged as neither any timeframe nor the names of the officials who would investigate the ministers and others have so far been given.

Back then, the PTI chairman had said that "the leaks are [a] God sent"; demanded resignation from the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif; prompt action by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government; and formation of an inquiry commission led by the then serving chief justice of Pakistan.

This time around, PM Imran's government was quick to announce investigation into the Pandora Leaks but has so far kept it under its wings instead of taking the previous route.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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