Nawaz distances himself from Qatari letters

Former premiers tells court he has nothing to do with son's statements

Our Correspondent November 16, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has distanced himself from the letters of the Qatari prince and documents of his sons submitted in the top court in the Panamagate case before the accountability court, saying he has no connection with them.

He stated this before Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik where he appeared for the second consecutive day Thursday to have his statement recorded in a corruption reference pertaining to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Submitting answers to 90 out of 100 queries of the court, the former premier said, “It is not true that when we were in exile (2000-2007), we did not have any money and resources to start a business. The fact of the matter is that my father arranged money and met our daily needs.”

On Wednesday, the deposed PM had submitted answers to 45 out of 50 queries of the court, requesting the court to allow him to consult with his lawyer before answering the remaining five. The court agreed and gave another questionnaire comprising 100 queries.

In his reply, Sharif told the court that the Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani’s letters were presented through miscellaneous applications submitted before the Supreme Court. He said, “Only the one who presented them can answer in a better way as I have never been a part of the transaction in any capacity and my name does not appear in any document.”
Sharif raised objections over Joint Investigation Team head Wajid Zia’s statement that he was the beneficial owner of the Gulf Steel Mills.

“I have nothing to do with the 1980 agreement nor was it prepared in my presence. The person who took part in the agreement was not presented as a witness. The JIT included Shehbaz Sharif and Tariq Shafi in the investigation, but they are not witnesses in the case,” replied Sharif.

NAB had taken custody of his house during the time of his exile, he said.

The documents of Sabeeha Abbas and Shehbaz Sharif's property were also confiscated, he said, adding that Rs110 million and Rs5 million were taken from Chaudhry Sugar Mills and Ramzan Sugar Mills, respectively.

He said he had challenged NAB’s steps upon his return to the country after ending his exile.

He said his family’s Ittefaq Foundry was nationalised in 1972 and no compensation was given at that time when his family was not in politics, adding that no one even asked whether they had money to survive.

On the JIT report, he said, “The record carries a brief name Hill Metal Establishment when its full title is Hill Industry for Metal Establishment. The JIT report is not admissible as evidence as its Volume 10 is just an investigative report.

“Except for my tax record, which I had provided myself to the JIT, I am not a witness in any document,” he added.

The answers were made part of the case record.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case till Friday (today), wherein the former prime minster would continue recording his statement.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ