Lahore - Although Jamaat-e-Islami is strongly defending Professor Khurished’s position on Bahamas leaks, it is unsure if the ex-senator was aware of Akida Bank registration as shell company whom he served as director or not.

“It doesn’t matter Professor sahib knew or not about the bank’s offshore registration, the reality is that he did not take any financial benefit from the company and his role was only of advisor,” JI spokesman Ameerul Azeem told The Nation.

Asked  if it was not immoral to serve in shell company in a key position, Azeem said offshore registration of Akida Bank was according to foreign law and Prof Khurished worked there in  honorary capacity.

“Professor sahib is leading expert in Islamic banking. He gave services to hundreds of Islamic financial institutions.”

Asked about Jamat’s point of view on the involvement of its ally Imran Khan and others in the offshore companies, Azeem replied that PTI chief had not mentioned his company in his statement of assets which was an illegality under the law.  

“Professor Khurished is paying all taxes. He had nothing to hide. Akida is not registered in his name but Imran owned the company and he should have mentioned it while declaring his assets,” said spokesman of the JI, the Islamic party which is under criticism after its leading leader was linked with an offshore company.

JI top leaders are among the other few politicians who are staunch opponents of offshore tax heavens and term such business practices immoral.

It is also leading a protest campaign to form an independent commission to probe into Panama leaks.

Clarifying his position in an email to journalists, Prof Khurished said he had been the director of the bank but did not own any financial stake. He wrote that the head of Akida Islamic Bank Ahmed Nasreddin was an old friend of him and that he had not even received advisory fees from the bank.

The US had designated Ahmed as Al Qaida financer and it had imposed sanctions on his Akida Bank but they were lifted when Ahmed won his case in US court in 2007.

According to some western media reports in early months of 2000, Akida Bank and Al Taqwa Bank (sister organisations) had financed banned Islamic organisations but it could not be established later.

As per US Treasury, both banks were not functional banking institution in the conventional sense but they were shell companies, lacking physical presence and sharing the same address in Bahamas where they were licenced.