Next time you prepare a document in Microsoft Word, be careful as to which font you use. The very use of a specific font (Calibri) apparently cost the prime ministership of Nawaz Sharif. Well, there is nothing wrong with the font per se, it’s something else.
Remeber Panama papers? If your name appeared there, you must be a very rich person. The Panama papers listed some of the influential political leaders in Pakistan including Nawaz Sharif. Critics alledged that Nawaz Sharif and his children were associated with some offshore companies that had been used to buy posh flats in central London using corrupt money smuggled out of Pakistan. Panama papers suggested Maryam Sharif, Nawaz’s daughter and considered to be his successor in the political dynasty, was the owner of an offshore company. She claimed she was only a trustee, not an owner. She presented a deed that was typed in 2006. And it was typed using the font ‘Calibri’! The beta version of this font was availble in 2004, but the font was publicly available only in 2007.
Yesterday, the five-judge bench of the Pakistan’s Supreme Court gave an unimous verdict that Nawaz Sharif failed to give a transparent account of his assets and hence, he is incompetent to run public office. Within an hour of the verdict, Mr Sharif resigned from his Prime Ministership.
Corruption is not foreign to South Asia. Based on Transparency International’s 17-month long survey, Forbes magazine reports South Asia has the five most corrupt economies of Asia. The dangerous cocktail of politics and corruption in Asia transforms politicians into tycoons and offers business tycoons the centre stage in politics (See also political connections and family firms in Bangladesh).