ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator Rehman Malik yesterday announced he would quit politics if Panama links were proved.

The lawmaker said neither he nor Benazir Bhutto had any account in Panama or any tax haven around the world, adding he did ‘legal business’ under United Nations Oil for Food Programme between 2002-2005.

The secret files reveal shady dealings by the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as well as relatives of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Former premier Benazir Bhutto, Javed Pasha (a friend of Asif Ali Zardari), Senator Rehman Malik and the family of Senator Osman Saifullah are also named in the reports.

Zain Sukhera, co-accused with the son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the Hajj scandal, was also on the list. In all more than 200 Pakistanis were named in the documents. Most conspicuous names included current and former politicians.

Speaking to journalists here, Rehman Malik denied any links with Panama offshore bank accounts. The Senator challenged critics to prove allegations adding he will submit his resignation in the Senate if he or his company Petroline FZC were found linked with Panama Tax havens.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, first released the details to the media with the disclaimer: “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Power Players interactive application have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.”

Malik alleged a section of media was misguiding the public by dragging Benazir Bhutto and his name in the controversy and linking it with Panama Leaks. “While as a matter of fact Panama leaks is about offshore companies or those operating in any tax heaven,” he added.

He said during the exile period in 2002 a company ‘Petroline FZC’ was registered in UAE in the name of three Directors - Benazir Bhutto, Hassan Jafferi and Rehman Malik - with a total capital of Dirham 150,000.

“The company did legal and legitimate business under United Nations Oil for Food Programme and it does not have any asset and account in Panama nor it evaded any tax its closure in 2005,” he said.

Malik said Petroline FZC had nothing to do with Panama and its leaks. He claimed the Indian Express replicated a fake story that was earlier published in The Guardian to malign Benazir Bhutto and his name. The Senator said Pakistan was a democratic country where problems should be settled inside the parliament rather than on roads. “Thus a parliamentary body consisting of members from all political parties should be constituted to investigate the Panama leaks,” he proposed.

He said whosoever was involved in taking money abroad from Pakistan using unfair means should be brought to justice.

Malik said he had written a letter to Interpol asking why it failed in implementing international laws against money laundering and sought action against the government of Panama that provided safe havens for the corrupt.