Nawaz urged to neither resign, nor dissolve assemblies in high-level huddle; Shahbaz takes PM into confidence over Gulf Steel Mills-related statement
A high-level meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House, on Tuesday decided that the premier will neither submit his resignation nor dissolve the assemblies. The meeting was called earlier on Tuesday to chart out the government’s strategy following submission of the final report to the apex court by the Joint Investigation Team. Nawaz Sharif, during the meeting, was also advised to move the Supreme Court against the JIT report before July 17, added sources.
Sources also said the premier has instructed his legal team to approach the apex court and prepare the government’s potential reply over the JIT report.
The prime minister stated this while chairing a consultative meeting held at the PM House to mull government’s response in the Supreme Court over the JIT report.
Neither the prime minister would tender resignation nor dissolve assemblies, the meeting decided.
The PM’s legal team would present its point of view to reject the JIT report on July 17 in the apex court.
Khawaja Haris and other members of legal team would defend the prime minister and his family in the apex court, the meeting said.
The meeting also decided to chalk out a strategy to give an effective response to political rivals.
Top legal brains of the party, federal ministers, Attorney General and other advisers attended the meeting.
The prime minister was briefed on various legal aspects of the final report of the Joint Investigation Team that was presented to the SC on Monday.
Despite calls from the opposition parties for prime minister’s resignation, the PML-N rejected the report and vowed to contest it before the apex court to fulfill the requirements of justice, and expose its contradictions and biased findings.
Sources said the PML-N’s legal team briefed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the JIT report.
Participants of the meeting also discussed points of argument regarding the report that could be raised in court.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Minister of Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Water and Minister of Petroleum Khaqan Abbasi as well as Barrister Zafarullah and the rest of the PML-N’s legal team.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his office in the federal capital and clarified Nawaz Sharif about his stance submitted before Panamagate joint investigation team about financial and administration matters of Gulf Steel Mill.
In his statement before the JIT, Shahbaz Sharif had allegedly distanced himself from the matters of aforementioned mill.
“It is worth noting that according to Mr. Tariq Shafi, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif was actively involved in the affairs of Gulf Steel Mills especially from 1978 to 1990.
Mr. Shahbaz Sharif however distanced himself and stated that he did not play any role in functioning of gulf steel mills and only assisted Mr. Tariq Shafi on direction of Mian Muhammad Sharif with reference to preparation of Shares Sale Agreement in 1980.
He did not verify his signatures on Shares Sale Agreement of 1978 or being witness in subject deed. This further dilutes the credibility/authenticity of the document produced on behalf of Mr. Tariq Shafi by respondent No.7,” the Panama JIT stated in its final report.