Panama Papers Case: PML-N govt files objections to JIT report in SC

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led federal government on Monday filed its petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, raising objections on Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report in Panama Papers Case.

Meanwhile, the three-member Special Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz Ul Hassan resumed hearing of Panama Papers Case in Islamabad.

While giving his arguments, the Counsel of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Naeem Bukhari said that the JIT has submitted its final report and declared Qatari Prince’s letter as piece of papers.

Naeem Bukhari said that according to the JIT, prime minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz is the owner of London Flats.

The PTI’s Counsel said that two judges of the Supreme Court have already declared the prime minister disqualified. He also said that the JIT termed Tariq Shafi’s statement as false.

Bukhari requested the Special Bench to summon Prime Minister in the Court.

In their remarks, Justice Ejaz Afzal termed the Qatari letter as ‘bogus‘, saying it was self-created story while Justice Ijaz Ul Hassan said that the Supreme Court is not bound to accept the JIT report.

In his arguments, the Counsel of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Taufiq Asif maintained that according to the JIT findings, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif didn’t cooperate during the probe, adding that the prime minister even refused to recognize his maternal uncle.

“We accept the JIT report and fully support it,” Taufiq Asif said.

The JI’s Counsel said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he knows about Qatari investment but remembers nothing. He said that his petition revolves around Nawaz Sharif’s speech in the National Assembly.

The Chief of Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that the real face of Nawaz Sharif is behind the Panama Case.

Sheikh Rasheed said that Maryam Nawaz has proved to be the beneficial owner of London flats.

“What is left after JIT report?, he questioned, and also said that the nation has lost its honour and integrity after the revelation that the prime minister was working as an employee in the foreign country.

The AML chief said that the Court has disqualified 20 people for not declaring their assets.

Later, the bench adjourned the hearing of Panama Papers Case till tomorrow.

Earlier in its objections filed today following a series of consultations with legal experts, the PML-N government argued that the JIT report is partial and it should be rejected. It also argued that JIT report is incomplete and based on assumptions.

The Counsel of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also filed the objections to the JIT report on behalf of his Client in the apex court, asking the Court to turn down the report.

The JIT formed to probe the Panama Papers Case had submitted its report before the three-member bench last Monday.

Meanwhile in a statement today, the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be successful in the Supreme Court.

Maryam Aurangzeb said that the entire nation stands with the prime minister.

“We have completed our preparation regarding Panama Case,” the minister said.

Talking to media outside the Supreme Court, the State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will stay in power and continue running the government affairs.

“Nawaz is to stay in power and continue journey of Pakistan’s development,” he said.

The minister said that the JIT report carries no weight and it has based its report on certain evidences that are beyond facts.

Abid Sher Ali criticized Sheikh Rashid’s political career, highlighting his role as Nawaz Sharif’s aide before the regime of military dictator Pervez Musharraf. “Wrong counselling of such leaders had resulted in 1999 fiasco.”

“God willing the apex court will decide the case on merit and not on Imran Khan’s wishes,” he said, adding that despite whatever happened “we respect the honorable judges”.

Talking to media, Daniyal Aziz said that the JIT ignored actual facts in its report. He said that the report is based on speculations and probabilities and actual facts were ignored in the JIT investigation.

Daniyal Aziz said that first hearing on JIT report is in progress in the Supreme Court and each page of the report is being read out. He said that page number 73 that carries conclusive findings about flats was not mentioned.

The PML-N leader said that judges have raised questions about verification of documents that mostly consist of just cuttings of newspapers and trash.

 

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