PML-N to reject JIT’s report if former Qatari PM not heard


2 JIT members are enemies of Nawaz, claims Asif Kirmani

Sophia Siddiqui
Top PML-N leadership on Saturday made it clear that the ruling party will not accept the findings of the joint investigation team (JIT) taking the panamagate probe forward if the statements of the former Qatari prime minister are not made part of the report. This was said in a press conference jointly addressed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal. If Qatar’s former PM is not made a part of the investigation, the JIT report will be compromised and we will not accept it, the PML-N leaders maintained. In the past, Mark Siegel’s statement was recorded in a case while he wasn’t in Pakistan, why can the same not be done in the case of the former Qatari PM, said the defence minister. The joint press conference focused on the proceedings of the JIT which is probing Sharif family’s business dealings abroad. During the PML-N ministers repeatedly raised questions on the functioning of the JIT and expressed reservations on the process of investigation. Khawaja Asif said that those behind repressing the investigation are not doing it based on the law but on the basis of a dice they have rolled against us. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz have all presented themselves before the joint investigation team. The defence minister said that the original jurisdiction of investigation of the companies owned by Sharifs lies with the countries where these companies were formed. “It is interesting that neither Saudi Arabia nor the United Kingdom has raised any questions regarding the companies. But there is a hue and cry about them in Pakistan,” Asif said. Ahsan Iqbal said that PML-N leaders were political people and respected the rule of law, and believed that the right to rule lied with the 220 million people of the country. He demanded that the JIT proceedings should be made public. “The video of what was asked and answered should be shown to the people,” he said. Railways Minister Saad Rafique said that an impression was given that the Federal Investigation Agency was goind to head the JIT, but “recently there have been rumors that the JIT is being controlled by the members of intelligence agencies within the team”. The minister said that the Sharif family was treated like common thieves and criminals without any proof against them. “But no one is ready to tell us where the theft took place.” If years-old accounts are audited, many political families would find themselves in trouble, he maintained. Questioning monetary ‘irregularities’ by Imran Khan Asif questioned that, “Has anyone asked Imran Khan how his ex-wife sent him money through a cousin? Why was a JIT not formed to probe that matter?” The defence minister claimed that he had warned in October 2012 that “Imran had invested zakat money in Paris and put it in personal bank accounts.” In October 2012 I had said that Imran invested zakat money in Paris and put it in personal bank accounts. This is a democratic era and we should respect the rule of law.Two members of the joint investigation team (JIT) are enemies of Nawaz Sharif, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Asif Kirmani said on Saturday. Not refraining from naming the JIT members, Kirmani said that everyone knows where the sympathies of Amer Aziz and Bilal Rasool lie. Recounting Nawaz Sharif’s accomplishments, he repeated Sharif’s promise of ending load shedding by 2018. He was addressing PML-N workers convention in Islamabad. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held an advisory meeting with federal ministers and legal experts on Saturday, a couple of days before the JIT submits its report to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. According to details, Nawaz Sharif held an advisory meeting with federal ministers and law experts to ponder over what course to take after the JIT has submitted its report on the findings of the Panama Leaks investigation. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and opposition parties are anxiously waiting for the report of the Joint Investigation Team.

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