Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb speaking at a join press along with MNA Daniyal Aziz here today said that like every citizen of Pakistan Sharif family also had a right to fair trial and provision of justice. She said that the Prime Minister and his family respected the superior judiciary and were fully trying to assist the court and the Joint Investigation Team in the Panama case. She strongly dispelled the impression that the PML-N leadership had any reservations about formation of JIT by the Supreme Court saying if the Prime Minister had any doubt he would not have written a letter for formation of a judicial commission and instead would have claimed immunity and privileges available to him and his family under the law of the land.
She said that even the PML-N did not object to the association of the two biased members with the JIT, it only objected to their biased conduct when Tariq Shafi was grilled andnthreatened of dire consequences.
The minister said that the Supreme Court should take notice of the revelation made in a news report by Ansar Abbassi regarding the inclusion of members in the JIT saying if the report was correct it might create doubts about the neutrality of the JIT.
She said Nawaz Sharif who was thrice elected Prime Minister of the country relinquished his legal rights which were available to him under the Constitution as he wanted that the reality of baseless allegations against his family should be exposed at the level of the Supreme Court.
The minister recalled that the Supreme Court first declared the petition of Imran Khan as frivolous. She also reminded that Sharif family even provided those documents to the Supreme Court which were decades old but on the contrary Imran Khan was unable to provide ten year old documents and money trail of his property and admitted before the court that he did not possess any record prior to the last ten years.
Marriyum said that Sharif family neither sought immunity, nor challenged the admissibility of the case in the court.The sons of Prime Minister had the option not to appear before the JIT but they did not seek any privileges”, she added.
The minister said Imran Khan refused to appear before the judge in the anti-terrorism court and in the foreign funding case in the Election Commission failed to explain his financial matters. She said that Imran Khan had adopted an insulting postures towards the constitutional institutions and the ECP perforce had to call him an ‘ uncivilized ‘ person.
She said that Imran Khan had been asking for over thirty years old record from the Sharif family adding that sons of Prime Minister were doing business abroad and as such were not answerable to the court as they were non-resident Pakistanis.
The minister said the lawyer of Hussain Nawaz raised the issue that two JIT members had bias by association and the Supreme Court did not reject his point of view. Rather the court took notes and gave the observation that if it found any doubt about the conduct of the said members of the JIT,it would take appropriate notice.
The wife of a member of JIT Bilal Rasool was an applicant for the PML Q ticket for the elections and also had association with PTI which was known to everybody.
Initially, the minister said Sharif family did not raise the issue of bias but Tariq Shafi was intimidated and harassed and continuously called a liar and threatened with dire consequences by some members of JIT. She said Supreme Court was told that video recording of the investigation from Tariq Shafi was available and the court should take notice of it.
She said members of JIT should have disclosed about their past affiliations which was an international practice but they did not do so.
Marriyum said despite having reservations about the two members of the JIT,Hussain Nawaz regularly appeared before the JIT as the Sharif family did not want to stop the process of investigation.
Some elements tried to create panic about appearance of an ambulance that arrived at the offices of JIT. She questioned as to who was trying to create panic by such activities? Moreover,she said that the JIT letter was leaked to the press and an impression was given that Hussain Nawaz was not replying to the questions of the JIT,which was wrong and unfounded.
She said that it was right of Sharif family to raise question about the conduct of JIT members and it should be seen whether JIT was impartial in its conduct or not.
To a question about loadshedding,the minister said the government would take steps to resolve technical issues in the distribution and transmission of the electricity and provinces would be taken onboard for timely repair of out of order equipment. A monitoring team would look into spike in loadshedding, she added.
Daniyal Aziz said whenever someone is interrogated,it is a tradition to provide him the list of questions, but the JIT in Panama case left the investigation open ended, which showed bias of JIT members and it being a serious matter, the court should look into it.
He said public should be told how the members of the JIT were selected and those members of JIT who showed bias should leave the proceedings of the JIT themselves.
Supreme Court should take notice of the news report of Ansaar Abbasi to rectify the situation,he added.
Daniyal said Imran Khan made a statement that he was offered a bribe of Rs 10 billion but did not provide any evidence, adding years have passed but the orders of court were not implemented in the cases of Imran Khan. He revealed that Tariq Shafi was repeatedly told he was a liar and asked to take back his affidavit and was threatened with dire consequences.
He said Imran Khan was a proclaimed offender and should appear before the Election Commission and other courts from which he was running away.
He said summons were being leaked from Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which was aimed to damage the Sharif family politically. He also reiterated that video recording of investigation of Tariq Shafi was available which should be made public as it would prove that he was not treated fairly.