Monday Blues for the Sharifs

Kashmir issue, Maleeha Lodhi, Nawaz Sharif, Shinzo Abe, UN General Assembly, Kashmir
Kashmir issue, Maleeha Lodhi, Nawaz Sharif, Shinzo Abe, UN General Assembly, Kashmir

Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and his family members would experience Monday Blues as there will be a Panamagate hearing in the Supreme Court.

A three-member bench of the SC headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal is set to hear the Panamagate implementation case in the light of six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report on Monday.

The court, on July 10, had ordered the parties to submit their replies by July 17 after reviewing copies of the JIT report. Security has been beefed up ahead of the Monday hearing.

From Monday onwards, the Supreme Court will set a course of action: hear objections to the JIT report and decide whether to disqualify the prime minister, order further investigations or initiate criminal proceedings.

According to Dawn, the Sharif family has not submitted any objections before the SC to the Panamagate JIT damning report on their murky financial history.

Quoting sources, Dawn said that “the family’s legal team is waiting for reports on the credibility of the forensic and financial experts engaged by the JIT, and hopes to come armed to the Monday hearing with that information”.

The leak of 11 million documents held by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca featured the Prime Minister’s two sons and daughter – Hussein, Hassan and Maryam – who were listed as beneficiaries for three offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). There were 400 other Pakistanis who were mentioned in the Panama Papers.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, Imran Khan pursued the matter with political diligence until the Supreme Court took it up in October 2016 and ordered formation of the JIT to answer 13 questions in order to establish whether the Prime Minister had lied to the public about his assets, and if he and his family had laundered money out of the country by misusing the public office.

The JIT submitted its report on July 10 and recommended that a corruption case should be filed against the prime minister and his sons – Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz – as well as daughter Maryam.

The report consists of the statements of Prime Minister Sharif, his brother and Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif; his children Hussain, Hassan and Maryam Sharif and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar.

The JIT report highlighted that Sharif was “non-committal” about two letters furnished to the Supreme Court by the former Qatari prime minister about financial dealing. The JIT also described Capt (retired) Muhammad Safdar, as “untruthful, dishonest, deceitful and shifty on many accounts displaying wanting conduct”.

Now, the entire Pakistani opposition is vying for Nawaz’s head, who has refused to step down by saying that only the people had the mandate to remove him.

PM Sharif has contended that the “controversial” JIT had submitted a report “based on accusations and conjecture” that reflected “animosity and malice”. According to him, the report had not given “even a hint of any corruption or financial misappropriation”.

However, he also knows that finally the opinion of the Supreme Court, and not his, would matter.


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