Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.

Microsoft’s Calibri font may be instrumental in proving the guilt of Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. When the Panama Papers leaked in 2015, 200,000 offshore accounts were revealed, with names of Sharif’s family present.

The result was an investigation into the the Prime Minister over corruption claims. Over a year later, progress is being made, and much of that is thanks to Microsoft’s Calibri font.

When Sharif’s daughter was told to provide documents to prove her innocence, she sent photocopies from February 6th, 2006, using Calibri. Unfortunately for her, that suggests a forgery.

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Though Calibri was created in 2004, it didn’t become available to the general public until 2007. Of course, there were previews before then, but only as late as June, and an early build of Vista in November. That still puts Sharif several months ahead.

Joint Investigation Team Findings

After a thorough investigation, the JIT found significant doubt on the authenticity of the papers. A leaked statement reads:

The report prepared by the UK-based (Forensic Handwriting & Document Examiner) proves, beyond any doubt that presented document by respondents in the Supreme Court and the documents presented to the JIT by Ms. Maryam Safdar were falsified to mislead the Court to believe they were signed in 2006, whereas they could not have been typed in that font in that year as it was not yet introduced.”

Ms. Sharif has since disputed these findings, saying on Twitter:

“JIT report REJECTED. Every contradiction will not only be contested but decimated in SC. NOT a penny of public exchequer involved: PMLN”

Since the findings, Wikipedia has been forced to lock its page about Calibri. Sharif and opposition supporters have been fighting over the release date, putting it both later and earlier than the correct date. However, the page notes that “This protection is not an endorsement of the current version,” which reads January 30, 2007.

The opposition argues that Calibri was available as part of an Office beta in early 2006. However, we are yet to have seen a verifiable source to back that claim. It’s not yet clear what the result of the findings will be, but in the meantime, Pakistan is in under heavy debate.

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