Offshore assets: JIT quizzes PM Nawaz for three hours

Published: June 15, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cautioned that if the people’s mandate is not respected and conspirators continue to further their ‘specific agendas’, “then not only democracy but the country’s security will be at stake”.

He was speaking to the media outside the Federal Judicial Academy on Thursday following his maiden appearance before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing into his family’s offshore assets. The questioning lasted almost three hours.

On April 20, the Supreme Court had constituted the JIT and empowered it to summon the prime minister, his sons and any other person linked to the ongoing investigation into the Panamagate case.

Premier Sharif preferred to read out a pre-written statement – most probably drafted for the occasion well before his scheduled arrival at the FJA – rather than speaking his mind.

His 11-minute media talk was generic in nature – dubbed a ‘political speech’ by his political rivals – and in the end he avoided taking questions from reporters.

Panamagate probe: Nawaz to appear before JIT today

Sharif talked about the allegations his family and he had faced in the past and stated that “once again my family has been held accountable for the same accusations that could never be established”.

Sharif said he appeared before the JIT because everyone, including the prime minister of Pakistan, was answerable under the law.

However, he used the occasion to hit out at his political foes and ‘conspirators’ busy in hatching conspiracies against the ‘will of the people’.

Conveying his message to ‘unknown’ forces, Premier Sharif said the days of playing games behind the scenes were over. “No one will be allowed to stage puppet shows anymore.”

“Now, we will not allow anyone to repeat history,” he said in an apparent reference to the politics of the 1990s when democratically-elected governments had been toppled with the help of the ‘third force’ over corruption allegations.

Govt not obstructing JIT probe, Ishaq Dar tells NA

The prime minister said Pakistan had already paid a huge price for ‘political dramas’ and conspiracies but “now the time has come to uphold the flag of truth”.

Sharif said that within days the report of the JIT and the decision of the Supreme Court on it would come out but added that everyone should keep in mind that “another JIT, a bigger one, and a Supreme Court bigger than the one hearing the Panamagate case, is also scheduled to announce its decision next year”. He was referring to the 2018 general elections.

“A JIT and a Supreme Court comprising 200 million people of Pakistan will also announce its verdict next year,” he said and predicted his party would win a mandate larger than the one it had clinched in the 2013 general elections.

Sharif told the media that he had submitted all the documents related to the case with the JIT. “All documents of my assets are already with the departments concerned, including the Supreme Court. Today, I once again submitted the same with the JIT.”

The prime minister said he had been held accountable for every single penny, adding a milestone had been achieved that day as for the sake of law and supremacy of the Constitution his family and he presented themselves for accountability, once again.

Panamagate: Some case record tampered with, says JIT

He said accountability of his family had started in 1936, even before his birth. “Is there any family in Pakistan that has faced such ruthless accountability spanning over three generations?” the prime minister asked.

He categorically stated – and even asked the media to pen it down – that “[the] people of Pakistan should know that [the] ongoing investigation against my family is not about corruption or usurpation of public money, rather about my family’s personal businesses”.

He said as soon as the Panamagate issue surfaced in 2015 he had offered to form a judicial commission comprising apex court judges to probe the matter. “This issue could have been solved until now if my offer was not used for political point-scoring,” he added.

The prime minister said he has faced accountability on similar allegations during different tenures of the Pakistan Peoples Party. “It had started in 1972 when all our assets were nationalised; it was time when I just had graduated from the college.”

“We were again held accountable during the dictatorial regime of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and it was so harsh that even our residences had been occupied.”

JIT summons Hussain, Hasan Nawaz again

“There was no substance in those allegations. In the end, even Musharraf implicated me in a false plane hijacking case,” he added.

Sharif said he has served as the chief minister of Punjab once and in 2013 the people of Pakistan elected him for the third time as the prime minister of Pakistan.

“During this tenure, I approved projects worth trillion of rupees. [But despite] my opponent’s all-out attempts, they never succeeded in unearthing corruption of even a single rupee,” he added.

In the end, Sharif said he had a lot to say but added he would say it some other time and at some other venue.

JIT probe

Sources claim the JIT members asked the prime minister questions about his different positions he had taken with reference to the London properties and the sources of funding to purchase those properties.

The prime minister was also asked questions about his role in Hudabiya Paper Mills, his knowledge of the funds transferred through and into the accounts mentioned in Ishaq Dar’s affidavit, the role played by the PM in his sons’ businesses and whether or not he provided or received any financial help to or from them, his sources of income and his knowledge of the sale of Gulf Steel and an explanation of his statement before parliament on the issue of a steel mill in Jeddah.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Jawad
    Jun 15, 2017 - 2:31PM

    Nawaz Sharif is acting like him and his family did Pakistanis a big favor by appearing upfront of JIT. Unbelievable no wonder he is corrupted. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 15, 2017 - 2:43PM

    Has NS even bothered to read what the two supreme court judges wrote about him in their judgement recently?!! Pathetic.Recommend

  • kilo
    Jun 15, 2017 - 2:46PM

    Sir ji..have you provided evidence other than that infamous khat..we all want to know…hain ji ? Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Jun 15, 2017 - 3:07PM

    PM Sb, even though you may be able to hoodwink JIT / SC, remember that Allah`s ehtesab is waiting to begin. The cries of the poor people going hungry everyday under your rule will not go in vain, what answer you will give to Allah ?Recommend

  • Shakil
    Jun 15, 2017 - 3:13PM

    Nice PR article! Recommend

    Jun 15, 2017 - 3:27PM

    Allah bless Pakistan.
    Allah bless Nawaz Sharif.Recommend

  • Zaka
    Jun 15, 2017 - 3:44PM

    Proud of Nawaz Sharif. Glad I voted for him before and will do so with even more zeal com next elections. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 15, 2017 - 4:35PM

    MIan Sahib government during this tenure has initiated hundreds of new projects worth billions of dollars. If he is dishonest then it’s very easy for opposition and anti democracy dark forces to find any wrong doing in these fresh deals. They are wasting time and money of nation on decades old cases is an indication that they have nothing against first family. Recommend

  • pervaiz
    Jun 15, 2017 - 9:18PM

    great Nawaz Sharif God bless you. we voted him in 2013 and will be voting him again in 2023. 2028 and againRecommend

  • Javaid Randhawa
    Jun 16, 2017 - 12:35AM

    @pervaiz Be ready to vote for Nawaz’ s grand grand sons like PPP voters who will vote Bilawal’s son, not yet in his dreams. What a foolish nation. Why not think about your own children. What senior judges give remarks you do not want to feed in your brain. Alas! Recommend

  • Frank
    Jun 16, 2017 - 1:36AM

    Innocent until proven guilty.
    One thousand years back or one thousand years forward. Doesn’t matter.

    Name one politician not blamed of corruption.

    By the people, for the people and to the people. Recommend

  • Atif
    Jun 16, 2017 - 6:34AM

    In any other country, if the top man is called to court on corruption charges, he’ll have to resign. But Pakistan is very different. He tries to claim the moral high ground !!Recommend

  • Read This
    Jun 16, 2017 - 7:12AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Only started. All of these are over priced, Power plants which completed with 200-300% more cost, simply shutdown very next day after ingratiation.Recommend

  • jaffer
    Jun 16, 2017 - 1:53PM

    We all live in a fools paradise created by some schemers who call themselves politicians.We shall continue to live like this as long as we do not educate ourselves.I would stress on”OURSELVES” because education is not a part of scheme.One simple way to gain knowledge is to use internet.There is abundant free information available just a few clicks away.Now slightly advanced cell phones have eliminated the necessity of computer to access internet. But we need to have.a will .Mind you there are no shortcuts and easy ways out.NS will cheat you because he is there to cheat. We must protect ourselves from being cheated. . Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Jun 18, 2017 - 11:32PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    The case against NS is not bcz of any opposition but was the result of exposure of facts by Panama papers. True, had panama papers not exposed the NS family off shore companies and activities; they would be clean bcz all the records of projects by the NS govt have burned under mysterious circumstances. However, if you like pmln walo aur supporters thinks Panama is all rubbish then they should have sued panama papers, BBC urdu news and German news papers. Why are they waiting for ? Can u comment please. If Panama is a conspiracy, why Iceland PM and Malta president resigned while UK PM had to come clean in the parliament to explain that it was his father. While investigations are underway by respective govts and none of those people who are under investigations have sued the paper bcz they know the paper is right. The only difference between us and others are; our investigative dept and institutions are under the influence of the govt in power who have been exposed Panama while other countries systems are working independently, hence opposition parties in those countries does not have to come out and protest to demand action.still you think we are wasting time on this important national issue. Recommend

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