ISLAMABAD: Submitting terms of reference (ToRs) in the Panamagate scandal, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law urged the Supreme Court on Friday that the proposed commission should also be mandated to investigate written off loans.
Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar, who is a respondent in the Panamagate case, filed the ToRs stating that the proposed commission should also be authorised to examine the information on written off bank loans.
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The proposed commission should examine a report compiled by an earlier commission, which was constituted by the Supreme Court in 2011.
Safdar, through his counsel, Salman Aslam Butt, proposed that the commission should be authorised to examine cases of such loans after the period covered by the previous commission.
The commission should also determine whether any loans were written off by wielding political influence.
Call for probing all individuals
Safdar said that the commission should examine information of all Pakistani citizens, persons of Pakistani origin and legal entities in offshore companies set up in Panama or elsewhere.
According to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Panama leaks had mentioned the names of 336 individuals. Similarly, 110 persons were exposed in the ‘Bahama leaks’ in September this year.
According to the proposed ToRs, the commission should investigate all persons linked with offshore companies.
“The commission shall determine whether provisions of the law relating to income tax, wealth tax, foreign exchange, companies and elections in force at the relevant time have been infringed.”
Safdar also suggested that the proposed commission should also examine whether the funds were tainted by ‘corruption’.
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He also submitted the proposed draft of the Commission of Inquiry Bill 2016, presented before the parliamentary committee.
Sheikh Rashid’s ToRs
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed in his three-page ToRs raised basic questions on properties, paid income tax between 1985 and 2016 and sources of transactions for procuring properties.
According to Sheikh’s ToRs, the prime minister’s family including his parents, spouse, sons and daughters, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.
His ToRs called for tracing the source of income and property earnings held by the PM or his family during the 1985-2016 period.
The ToRs stated that before the commission entered upon any inquiry, the PM and his family “shall place all … information of their worldwide … assets and interests in properties, held at any time since 1985 along with details of income tax paid year-wise since that year”.
The commission shall direct the respondent to give mandatory authorisation, empowering the committee and/or its designated members to access all offshore companies and accounts, the ToRs stated.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2016.
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