Despite PML-N claims, PM Nawaz didn't appear before JIT as 'ordinary citizen'

Published: June 16, 2017
Email
PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The ruling party on Thursday claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the joint investigation team as an ‘ordinary citizen’, but the facts state the opposite.

“History has been made today. [The] prime minister has arrived without any protocol, riding his personal vehicle. He comes here like an ordinary citizen,” PM’s Special Assistant Asif Kirmani told the media upon the PM’s arrival at the Federal Judicial Academy.

The only thing missing from the regular VVIP protocol the prime minister enjoys was dozens of vehicles accompanying his usual rides. Otherwise, tight security measures were in place around the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA), with 2,600 security personal deputed to guard the area. This was in addition to the deployment of Rangers personnel to shield the inner security cordon.

The authorities concerned had blocked three link roads leading to the FJA building – the JIT’s secretariat – for all vehicular traffic, dedicating one route for the ‘ordinary citizen’ to travel between his official residence and the FJA.

Offshore assets: JIT quizzes PM Nawaz for three hours

As if that was not enough, one of the gates of the nearby Shifa Hospital, falling on the service road south of Sector H-8, was also closed for any kind of movement.

The PM reached the FJA well on time — around 11am — as was directed by the probe team through a summons dispatched to him on June 8.

There were three vehicles in the prime minister’s cavalcade carrying the PM himself, his personal security staff, his son Hussain Nawaz, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz. Premier’s principal secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad also accompanied him.

The prime minister came out of his white land cruiser parked right at the front door of the FJA, waving towards the cameramen anxiously waiting at the outer wall of the building to capture the moment.

Panamagate probe: Nawaz to appear before JIT today

The PM had a little chat with the staff of the academy that received him while his personal staff took some files out of his vehicle which the prime minister later submitted to the probe team. As the prime minister went inside the building, all those who accompanied him left the venue, except Asif Kirmani.

Some 250 metres away from the building, on the adjoining Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Road, nearly 300 PML-N supporters carrying placards and banners were busy chanting slogans in favour of their leader, despite clear-cut instructions from the prime minister to not come to the venue,

The activists included members of the PML-N-affiliated lawyers fraternity, representatives of the PML-N women wing, office-bearers of different union councils and others. However, the police did not allow them to get close to the FJA building, over which the activists also protested.

With the passage of time, the crowd swelled and soon they were joined by PML-N MNAs, senators and federal cabinet members.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also joined the gathering and tried to reach the FJA building, but even they were stopped at the site where other activists were present.

JIT allegations: No impediments to probe, insists Dar

Ministers and MPs present at the venue included Abid Sher Ali, Tariq Fazl Chaudhry, Tahira Orangzeb, Seema Jilani, Farhana Qamar, Asia Naz Tanoli, Saleem Zia, Kalsoom Perveen, Barjees Tahir, Chaudhry Tanveer and Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha.

As his testimony, lasting almost three hours, concluded, the prime minister – along with his son Hussain Nawaz and nephew Hamza Shshbaz – walked out of the FJA building to talk to the media.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (4)

  • Pakistani
    Jun 16, 2017 - 10:34AM

    PMLN might as well formally launch Ministry of Propaganda!!Recommend

  • Hasin Ahmedhasinahmed35@gmail.com
    Jun 16, 2017 - 10:40AM

    That is a revelation for the people of Pakistan. Not before PM Nawaz Shareef appeared before the JIT, the people knew that an ordinary citizen of the country was entitled to a security detail of 2600 police personnel.Recommend

  • Andrew
    Jun 16, 2017 - 12:21PM

    I do not support PML-N at any cost, however, one thing should be clear that the statement of him arriving at the FJA as an ordinary citizen is more than a little over-rated. He is the Prime Minister of this Country, not a common criminal. He arrived at the venue on time and with 3 cars. He did not arrive like an ordinary citizen, however one thing should also be appreciated that he also did arrive as the Prime Minister of the country. should have become a news items if he arrived like the Prime Minister of the country with his full protocol. It is my personal opinion, but he showed respect for the JIT and the Honourable Judges, setting an example that although he was Prime Minister he was still subject to the law of the land and obeyed the law and gave respect where due. WE SHOULD DO THE SAME. GIVE HIM HIS DUE WHEN HE DESERVES IT.

    His guilt or otherwise is to be decided by the JIT and the Honourable Judges, not the Media or the Opposition or the General Public. We are all more than well aware of what all is being done in this country. However, one thing I would also like to appreciate is that fact that the Police and the security agencies did a good job at stopping the activists and other PML-N supporters. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 16, 2017 - 1:08PM

    Thank you Express Tribune for calling it like it is.Recommend

More in Pakistan