When the entire government crumbled due to #Calibri!

When the entire government crumbled due to #Calibri!


“For Want of a Nail” is a proverbial rhyme from Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richards Almanac”.

It shows how clearly that battles are lost due to small oversights.

A similar battle was lost in Pakistan for a font.

Last month, Pakistan’s Prime Minister – Nawaz Sharif had to actually step down due to a font.

The Panama Papers Controversy

The Panama Papers case is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in the 1990s, when he twice served as Pakistan’s Prime Minister to purchase assets in London. One small item on this laundry list of riches allegedly accumulated by Sharif’s clan is a luxury apartment in London, tied to 43-year-old daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

The daughter insists she doesn’t own the flat, and produced a Feb. 2, 2006 document showing her as a mere trustee of a larger company that really owns the apartment. She claims that on the said date, a ‘trust deed’ was signed between Hussain and Maryam where the latter was declared as a “trustee” of the Avenfield property.

The Joint Investigation Team, formed by the Supreme Court, sent the documents to London’s Forensic Document Laboratory where keen-eyed British forensic document examiner Robert Radley.found that the font used in both the documents was “Calibri.”

The expert states

It is in fact true. The Calibri font was released commercially by Microsoft alongside Office 2007 and Windows Vista. For documents produced and signed in 2006, the use of the Calibri font was not possible since they could not have been typed with a font that wasn’t commercially available at the time.

In its 275 page report, the JIT concluded that the use of the Calibri type font proves that the documents were manufactured after the mentioned dates. Thus, the documents submitted by Sharif’s daughter -Maryam Safdar were falsified and she is the real and beneficial owner of the Avenfield properties

“Why this calibri calibri calibri di” was what reverberated all over in the Pakistani air 🙂

Summing Up

It is highly unlikely that anybody ever thought, upon seeing his unshod horse that the kingdom would eventually fall because of a missing nail. Same was the case of Maryam Nawaz Sharif. Would she have ever imagined the house to fall like a pack of cards due to the inconsequential selection of a font i.e. Calibri? Thus, the proverbial “For Want of a Nail” story or the latest “Font gate” controversy drive home just one point. These are stories in which one small change has a ripple effect, resulting in far reaching consequences. As we often tend to get lost in the bird’s eye view and the helicopter views, these are stories that remind us of the importance of the granular details.

When was the last time you carefully paid heed to those small things in life?