ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made his maiden appearance before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing Sharif family’s offshore properties in line with the apex court’s April 20 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
Addressing the media after his appearance before the inquiry team, the PM said he has accounted for every penny today. “I have just presented my stance before the JIT,” he told reporters outside the Federal Judicial Academy.
According to sources, PM Nawaz was asked the following questions by the JIT:
1. Different positions he has taken with reference to London properties and the source of funding for the purchases
2. His role in Hudaybia Paper Mills, and documents to show until when he was a part of the board of directors or managements of other family businesses
3. His knowledge of the funds transferred through and into the accounts mentioned in Ishaq Dar’s affidavit
4. The role he played in his sons’ businesses and whether or not he provided or received any financial help to or from them
5. Sources of income
6. His knowledge of the sale of Gulf Steel and an explanation of his statement before Parliament on the issue of the steel mill in Jeddah
The premier upheld that all sources of his assets were already submitted to relevant authorities. “Today is a historic day for Pakistan’s judiciary. My whole family and I have presented ourselves for accountability.”
“Is there any family in Pakistan that has appeared for accountability other than mine,” he asked. “My personal businesses have nothing to do with federal treasury. And no matter how many conspiracies my rivals are hatching, they will not be successful.”
A confident premier added: “We are going to emerge successfully not only from this test of time but also in the next general elections with a more overwhelming majority and people’s support.”
In his remarks on the Prime Minister’s talk after his appearance before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman said that apparently, no fresh evidence was presented to the team.
“The only defence that the Sharifs had was the letter of the Qatari prince who has refused to come to Pakistan.” Imran said. “After his refusal, they [Sharifs] don’t have anything to prove how the money was transferred to London to buy flats there.
“Nawaz Sharif created an impression during his talk that the whole thing is a conspiracy against him, which is shameful.” The only institution they seem to be accusing of a conspiracy is the military or the military and judiciary both. Imran reiterated that the Sharifs, for the last 30 years, have been fielding either their own ‘umpires’ or term them their enemies.
Earlier, as he arrived to appear before the team amid tight security, the premier was accompanied by his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his Hussain Nawaz.
Television footage showed a seemingly relaxed PM Nawaz clad in traditional shalwar kameez and waving at party workers before entering the building in Sector H-8/4.
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