This must be embarrassing; the crusader against corruption - who had staked his political career on his milk white record - cis having some difficulty explaining some questionable spots on it. After equating off-shore companies with moral bankruptcy for weeks the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman himself admitted he formed an offshore company to buy the London flat in 1983 to evade British taxes in front of a mob of reporters on Friday.

Of course there is a valid reason and of course forming of shore companies is legal, but then again, Nawaz Sharif used these exact arguments too. The bottom line is this; we were told – loudly and consistently – that the Panama controversy is a moral failing for the government, now Imran khan has morally failed too. According to his own standards tax evasion is definitely immoral, be it in Pakistan or England.

The smugness of the PML-N at this admission shouldn’t exceed its bounds. Imran Khan may be in a bind but Nawaz Sharif is in a bigger one, without a halfway decent explanation to bail him out. The PTI chairman bought the flat using his sporting salaries, sold the flat in 2003, bought the proceeds back to Pakistan, paid taxes where they were due and had always disclosed his ownership of the flat –crucially he was not a public servant throughout this process. His only apparent vice is not paying additional taxes on the flat to the British authorities beyond a 35% income tax.

The Prime Minister on the other hand continues to be associated with off-shore companies through his children, held public office while they were incorporated, and furthermore the source of the income has not been disclosed and neither were the companies. In the complex world of international finance, there is tax evasion and then there is tax evasion; the Prime Minister still has to answer for much more serious accusations.

It is perhaps why Imran Khan can give a personal account for his actions to reporters relatively confidently while the Prime Minister has avoided the Parliament consistently – even calling PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to ensure that his party will go easy on him during his imminent appearance in front of the nation’s chosen representatives. Assuming that it doesn’t degenerate into rhetoric circus, the parliamentary session attended by both Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif will be crucial to the Panama saga.

Yet the PML-N won’t be too keen on splitting hairs. After all these are Imran Khan’s words on Twitter: “the only reason people open an offshore account through Panama is to either hide wealth, especially ill-gotten wealth, or to evade taxes or both.”