PM Nawaz was chairman of Dubai-based offshore firm, counsel admits in SC

Published: July 18, 2017
SHARES
Email
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP / FILE

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: AFP / FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was issued an Iqama (residence permit) by the UAE government for being the chairman of the board of Capital FZE, an offshore firm exposed by the six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked to probe the Sharif family’s offshore wealth, the premier’s counsel accepted on Tuesday.

“Hassan Nawaz [PM’s son] was the owner of Capital FZE and PM Nawaz was only designated as Chairman of the Board of this offshore company but he did not receive any salary,” Khawaja Haris told the apex court’s three-judge bench in response to a query during the ongoing hearing of the Panamagate case.

In his arguments, the counsel contended that the high-powered inquiry panel did not confront the prime minister regarding the documents of his employment in the Dubai-based firm. Upon this, the top court bench told Haris that he may give an explanation before the court if the investigative body did not give an opportunity to PM Nawaz for clarifying his position in the matter.

Evidence that ‘alone can send PM packing’

Another judge Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that the premier and his family members were uncooperative with the inquiry panel during interrogation. “It was their policy or approach to not say anything about the properties and let the JIT find whatever it can,” he remarked.

The judge wondered what else the probe body was supposed to do when they initially gave the ruling family ample opportunity to say anything about their money trail. He also wondered over the prime minister’s demeanour with the JIT as Nawaz did not give any reasonable reply to the questions posed by members of the inquiry panel. “In his response to one of the questions the PM said he didn’t see the Qatari letters. This was a total denial and noncooperation,” he observed.

Regarding the JIT’s recommendation of reopening of Hudabiya Paper Mills case, Justice Ijaz said the investigation in the case was linked with the ongoing Panamagate case, therefore, the probe panel looked into the scam.

43 mistakes spotted in JIT report, claims minister

In his remarks, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who is heading the top court’s three-judge bench, observed that the court did not rely on the JIT report but on the material collected by the panel.

Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh observed that the court will follow the law and the JIT recommendations were not binding on it. “We are not closing the doors to the ruling family members to give their explanations,” he said.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (14)

  • Ali Mo
    Jul 18, 2017 - 1:10PM

    So the PM has been caught again. Where are the defenders today?Recommend

  • Salman
    Jul 18, 2017 - 1:21PM

    Wait what? All pmln reps on tv were denying this until Sunday? Hilarious Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Jul 18, 2017 - 2:14PM

    SC is still showing it’s tilt towards the Sharif family when they are caught lying. If this were a Sindhi politician he would have been in jail by now. Recommend

  • Libra
    Jul 18, 2017 - 2:22PM

    Noose is tightening. Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jul 18, 2017 - 3:21PM

    These bureaucrats are wasting precious time and precious tax-payer funds pursuing this frivolous line of inquiry into the Dubai company. Thousands of rich Pakistanis have such non-paying roles in companies in Dubai. In fact Zardari has no less than 4 large houses in Emirates Hills in Dubai (most expensive property in Dubai) and how come no one is bothered by that – even when he was President for so many years! Recommend

  • Khwaja
    Jul 18, 2017 - 8:09PM

    No bank on planet earth would do business with a firm whose chairman is a sitting PM.

    What kind of a joke are these guys ? No ethics no principals. Recommend

  • Sal
    Jul 18, 2017 - 9:45PM

    Why do veiled PMLN supporters always try to justify a wrong by pointing out towards another wrong. If Zardari was and is not caught or driven to courts then it is a failure of the Govt., which is just repaying Zardari for not investigating on Asghar Khan case when PPP was in power. Recommend

  • Sabi
    Jul 18, 2017 - 10:09PM

    This sc is not different from that of Ch Iftihar. Popular remarks are given by the judges which are putting doubts on the fairness of the trial.Recommend

  • Shah S
    Jul 19, 2017 - 2:02AM

    One of the conduits used for Money Laundering; Since this crook PM was having work permit, employment visa and salary; he was in violation of the rules of having more than one employment and as PM he violated the laws of Service in Pakistan.. ; Born Crook this MF is; Recommend

  • Ayesha Aly
    Jul 19, 2017 - 8:56AM

    This news is very embarassing for the nation. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 19, 2017 - 8:58AM

    @Sal:
    Exactly; 2 wrongs don’t make a right (except when those 2 wrongs are multiplied..)Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jul 19, 2017 - 9:32PM

    @Sal:
    The point is that if Sharif steps down, there is no corrupt-free politician in sight to handle the country till next year’s election. We don’t want to be in a situation of out of the frying-pan into the fire. We might get ripped off even more under a Mr. 20% who won’t even do the infrastructure development which Nawaz tries to do! Recommend

  • Rizwan Khan
    Jul 20, 2017 - 1:15AM

    Cant we make wallets out of them?Recommend

  • Faris
    Jul 20, 2017 - 2:42AM

    @Khwaja:
    you seem lost. The companies are essentially vehicles to park assets offshore. Typically its people’s personal assets (not necessarily stolen assets or looted assets) that can get parked in a more stable place like Dubai. You must admit Pakistan does not inspire as much stability no matter who has been in-charge in the last 40 years! So these companies don’t deal with banks for business purposes. They are what they are – offshore companies to park assets of wealthy. Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Pakistan