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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This is How a Microsoft font brought down Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

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The time when a harmless Microsoft office font forced a Prime minister of a country to resign.

In 2015, an anonymous source leaked 11.5 million financial documents from law firm and corporate service provider company Mossack Fonseca. This leak is known as Panama Papers.

The leak reveals that high profile politicians across the globe, including 12 national leaders are buying overseas assets for illegal purposes, including fraud, tax evasion, and evading international sanctions.

Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was one of the accused in the leak. Panama leak connected Nawaz Sharif with two objectionable properties in London.

When the case went to Pakistani supreme court, Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz submitted two documents in the court. The documents were dated back to 2006 and they were supposed to prove that Sharif’s family has nothing to do with the properties in London.

The blunder:

The documents submitted to the team dated to 2006, but were written in Calibri, a font that was not commercially available before January 31, 2007.

Microsoft word used Times New Roman font as the default font before 2007. From office 2007 and onwards Calibri was made the default font for Microsoft Word.

This proved that the documents submitted by Sharif’s family were fake and forged.

There were also other evidences against Sharif, but the font blunder significantly weakened his case in Pakistan supreme court.

Sharif’s family lost the case and On 28 July 2017, Sharif was disqualified for public office by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Sharif submitted his resignation on the following day.

A simple Microsoft word font changed a government!

Bonus fun fact:

Calibri is a Sans-Serif font. or you can call it Sans-Sharif now 😉

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