ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had not sought immunity in Panama papers case, his spokesperson Dr Musadiq Malik said on Tuesday.
While speaking at a press conference in Islamabad along with member of National Assembly Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Daniyal Aziz, he said it was stated in the media that the prime minister sought immunity under article 248 of the Constitution which was not true.
Musadiq said that no petition was filed in the Supreme Court to seek any kind of immunity. He said the legal team of the prime minister also did not raise the issue of maintainability of case.
Dr Musadiq said that according to law, a person who levels allegations also brings evidence except in the law of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The prime minister’s spokesperson also categorically stated that there was not misstatement or contradiction in the statements of the prime minister. He said that according to article 66 of the Constitution, members of parliament had privileges.
The article 66 states that there shall be freedom of speech in the parliament and no member shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the parliament.
Dr Musadiq Malik said that the members of parliament were given this protection against powers of the king. Imran Khan, Sirajul Haq and Khurshid Shah were enjoying the same privilege, he added.
The spokesperson said that parliamentary system should not be weakened for someone’s greed for power or for taking revenge.
Dr Musadiq said that the Constitution and laws granted protections to citizens of Pakistan and the country could not be turned into a banana republic for the sake of a person’s personal wishes. He criticized those who were saying that the government was seeking protection of law.
Musadiq Malik said that it was everybody’s right to seek protection of law and the criticism against government was unjustified, adding that PML-N would take aid of the law.
Dr Musadiq said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan wanted the accused should be hanged first and then investigation should be conducted.
Daniyal Aziz said that Sharif family lawyers had produced the money trail including a bank guarantee document of United Bank of Switzerland.
The documents showed the funds available to the members of Sharif family, he added.
Daniyal Aziz said that the lawyers of Sharif family busted the argument of Naeem Bukhari, counsel of PTI regarding funds available from sale of Steel Mills in Dubai. He said that record of Ittefaq Foundry was confiscated in a raid during Musharraf era and some of it was not returned despite court case.
The PML-N lawmaker said that PTI was asking for record of 37 years and Imran Khan had taken numerous U-turns during Panama papers case.
Daniyal said that Wealth Tax Act 1963 was repealed in 2003 and under the law, tax returns of only a few years were kept as record. He said papers filed by the PTI showed that the apex court registrar was right in declaring petition of Imran Khan as frivolous in the first instance.