JIT trying to find allegations against Sharifs: Maryam

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Appears before Panama JIT, warns opponents of conspiring against Nawaz; Political opponents fail to prove allegation

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, after appearing before JIT on Wednesday said Joint Investigation Team was still trying to find allegations against the Sharif family.
Speaking to the media after her questioning by the Panama case JIT at the Federal Judicial Academy for about two hours, she answered all the questions asked by the JIT members. She said she had also asked a question from the JIT but they did not have answer, which suggested the JIT is trying to create allegations against the Sharif family.
“After six months in the Supreme Court and 70 days in the JIT, I realized today they have nothing against us,” she explained.
This is the first JIT in the world that has been formed before knowing what charges to level, she said, reiterating what her brothers have claimed earlier.
She said if conspiracies will be hatched against Nawaz Sharif, he will return with more force.
Those who are hatching conspiracies should keep in mind that Nawaz Sharif has support of the people, she added.
In a message to those hatching conspiracies, Maryam said, “Stop Nawaz Sharif, otherwise he will end terrorism. Stop Nawaz Sharif or he will end loadshedding and complete CPEC, stop Nawaz
Sharif or he will bring economic prosperity to the country.”
She said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was protector of constitution and law. This was the first Joint Investigation Team of the world which was still trying to find allegations, she added. “We are facing accountability for the fifth time. Our three generations offered themselves for accountability.”
Maryam pointed that this was not the first “leaks” in which her name was being used.
Earlier, she said, her name was used in the DawnLeaks to put pressure on her father Nawaz Sharif. She said the allegations were merely swirling around private businesses of Sharif family and were related to the decades of 60s, 70s and 80s.
“We did not owe a single penny of the public money.” She said Sharif family could be asked about use of public money but it was not fair to ask about their private businesses. Those who filed cases against Sharif family, they themselves have offshore companies and took stay order in cases of misuse of public money, she told.
She said she answered all questions of the JIT, adding she also asked the JIT to tell her about the allegations against the Sharif family.
She said her name was not even mentioned in the order of Supreme Court. In an apparent reference to Pervez Musharraf, she said Sharif family could also have find excuses and avoided JIT by making excuses on medical grounds and due to pain in the back. She thanked party workers and family members for supporting her at this moment and sending her messages of support and prayers.
Maryam Nawaz said the petitioner in Panama case could not prove any of his allegations before the Supreme Court . She asked why questions were not asked from those who did not have any source of income. Maryam Nawaz, who responded to questions of JIT during a two-hour session, said, “Those who considered her as weakness of her father, should know that she will be strength of her father.”
Maryam Nawaz claimed that political opponents have failed to prove any allegation against Sharif family.
“I am daughter of the person who taught me how to be upright. Be afraid of the day, when Nawaz Sharif will go before the public and will tell his side of the story.”
She said if conspiracies continued, Nawaz Sharif would become prime minister for the fourth, fifth and then the sixth time. Nawaz Sharif had already remained prime minister of the country for two times and chief minister for three times in the past, she added.
She said Nawaz Sharif was the only leader who had trust of the nation and became prime minister of the country with support of the masses.
All the development projects in the country had the stamp of Pakistan Muslim League–N, she said. She said before her, her father, uncle and brothers also appeared before the JIT.
“I answered whatever questions they [the JIT] asked me … I tried to answer with honesty,” she claimed. “I asked the JIT what the accusation against us [the Sharif family] is. They had no answer to my question,” she claimed.
She took particular issue with the JIT’s probe into her family’s private businesses, saying nobody had a right to look into the private accounts of the Sharif family.
“If public money was involved, then we are answerable, but that is not the case regarding private businesses,” she said.
“Those who have cases of misuse of public funds open against them have petitioned for stay orders. We [however] can justify our properties and have been doing so,” she claimed.
“Why are those who have no businesses and no source of income not being questioned,” she asked, making a veiled reference to PTI chief Imran Khan, who was also accused by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar of owning wealth beyond his means.
A large number of leaders and workers of the PML-N remained present outside the Judicial Academy to offer moral support to Maryam Nawaz.
They continued to raise slogans in support of the party leadership and expressed their views with the media.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif appeared on Wednesday for the first time before the Supreme Court-sanctioned joint investigation team probing the Sharif family’s business dealings abroad.
Maryam was accompanied by husband Captain Safdar, brothers Hassan and Hussain, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, the PM’s Special Assistant Asif Kirmani and lady capital police officers, to the JIT secretariat. A number of PML-N workers, especially from the party’s women wing, had also turned up near the FJA to show support for Maryam.
PM’s Special Assistant Asif Kirmani, speaking to reporters while Maryam was inside the secretariat, questioned why the JIT had not yet visited Qatar to record Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani’s statement.
“I want them to tell us why JIT members are not going to Qatar to take the ex PM’s statement in the case,” he said. “The members of JIT have not gone to Qatar yet and that is equivalent to them trying to keep the truth from coming out,” he claimed.
“In court proceedings, the rule is that the petitioner of the case provides the proof, and yet the petitioners are all hiding away while we are the ones trying to prove our innocence,” he said.