Panama papers: Yes, I formed offshore companies to evade ‘British taxes’, says Imran Khan

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Former Cricketer and chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has admitted that he formed offshore companies to buy a flat in London in 1983.

Imran’s confession comes just a day after his party spokesperson denied that he owned a London flat through an offshore company.

Imran Khan was facing the heat after the name of his close confidant Zulfikar Abbas Bokhari figured in the latest Panama papers.

Coming out in open regarding his offshore company, the former Pakistan captain clarified that he did that on the advice of his accountant to evade taxes during his playing days to buy a flat in London.

"I was already paying 35 per cent tax on my income there, so to evade further taxes, I bought the flat through an offshore firm, which was my right as I was not a British citizen," Imran Khan told reporters at London Heathrow Airport on Friday.

PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq who had earlier denied the existence of any offshore company belonging to Imran Khan changed his tune immediately after Imran Khan’s confession.

"I was Imran Khan's bank manager in London at that time, his accountants formed this company to buy the London flat," Haq was quoted as saying by The Dawn.

However, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, the daughter of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, did not miss the opportunity to take pot shot at Imran Khan who had targeted his father for forming offshore companies as revealed by Panama papers. She termed Imran as the 'pioneer' of offshore companies.

Maryam Nawaz Sharif ✔ ‎@MaryamNSharif
The 'PIONEER' of offshore companies ..... The TRAILBLAZER award goes to Mr. Khan. #Hypocrisy
10:34 PM - 13 May 2016

Interestingly, just a couple of days back, Imran Khan had targeted Nawaz Sharif by saying that Panama Papers exposed how 'corrupt' Pakistani Prime Minister was.

Imran Khan ✔ ‎@ImranKhanPTI
Only reason ppl open offshore accts through Panama is to either hide wealth, esp ill-gotten wealth, or to evade tax or both.
9:38 PM - 4 Apr 2016