JIT’s final report

JUST as Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed by Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe into offshore dealings of PM’s family, completed the task and all set to present fourth and final report today, four key members of ruling PML (N) including Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Saad Rafique and Shahid Khaqan Abbassi appeared before the media on Saturday expressing serious reservations on conduct of the JIT emphatically declaring that the report will be unacceptable to the party sans Qatari prince testimony.
These reservations clearly imply that matter is not heading for any early culmination as is being anticipated by certain quarters and we will continue to see soaring political temperature in the days ahead. We say so as the Supreme Court will not only thoroughly look into the JIT reports but also hear reservations raised by the affected party. As far as doubts of PML (N) are concerned, we understand that they have every right like any other party to come in the public and present their point of view on matters relating to the probe. And the points raised by federal ministers in the joint press conference have some substance also. For instance when they demand that statement of Qatari prince should be recorded, they say so because before the apex court the counsels of the prime minister’s family had submitted prince’s letters as money trail of offshore businesses. As the JIT was formed to investigate the matter in depth, therefore, it was imperative for the team to check the authenticity of these letters and seek more documents from the prince that endorse the claims made in his pieces. We fail to understand as to what stopped the JIT to visit the palace and record the statement. Saturday also saw the ministers demanding for the first time the audio and video recording of the JIT to be made public. From day one this was also the demand of PTI, the petitioner in Panama Papers case, that proceedings of the JIT be kept open.
Anyway as the apex court is seized with the matter, all the parties should have complete confidence that the justice will be done in the case. The words of the JIT will not be final as Supreme Court itself will analyse the contents and then decide the future course of action. The PML (N) can raise its reservations through counsels before the apex court when provided with the time to present its stance. In the meantime, the parties should act more maturely and try to keep the political temperature well under control for the sake of country and democracy. Leadership of every political party must remember that democracy — without fair and transparent across the board accountability — is complete farce and in order to save, nourish democratic process in the country an impartial and strong accountability institution should be formed through an act of Parliament so that justice is done in all the cases without any fear and discrimination.

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