The Minister of State for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, appearing in a press conference with other senior PML-N leaders, strongly rejected the Panamagate joint investigation team’s (JIT) report as ‘worthless trash’ which “served Imran Khan’s agenda.”
Choosing to focus on the fact that the report focused on the Sharif family’s personal businesses rather than mismanagement or corruption while holding public office, the minister termed it a compilation of political accusations against the government.
“This report is a political statement which reads like an Imran-nama,” the minister said.
Barrister Zafarullah Khan, also speaking in the press conference, concurred, saying: “It is not a JIT report, it is rather a PTI report.”
“Four out of the six members of the JIT had no prior experience in handling legal investigations,” he added, attempting to undermine its credibility.
He also resorted to personal attacks against individual members of the JIT, accusing them of being anti PML-N. He further accused the JIT of witness tampering and attempting to twist the investigation to suit its ends.
“We hope the Supreme Court bench will send this report into the trash bin, where it rightfully belongs,” he concluded.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif then took the speaker, saying that nothing in the report can be verified or be admissible as evidence as it is based on information provided by sources.
“The JIT report has relied heavily on the statements of [PPP’s ex interior minister] Rehman Malik. I think taking his name is enough to reveal the plot behind it [JIT report],” said Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.
“We will destroy every allegation raised in the report one by one,” Asif said.
Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the party had previously expressed its reservations regarding the attitude of the JIT, saying the government had “expected” the JIT to submit something similar.“There are so many contradictions in this report that anybody who reads it objectively will understand its true purpose,” he said.