Friday, 17 November, 2017

JIT recommends reopening 15 cases against Sharif

The Minister for IT spoke to journalists outside the Supreme Court The Minister for IT spoke to journalists outside the Supreme Court
Melinda Barton | 18 July, 2017, 06:27

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday began hearings that will decide the fate of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is fighting for his job as he contests the damning conclusions of a corruption investigation into his family's wealth. The party leaders and spokespersons were also briefed about the stance on Panama case.

The six-member JIT which probed the issue submitted its final report to the Supreme Court on July 10. Sharif's facing the threat of corruption investigations following the publication of the Panama Papers. Of the case, Pakistan's military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet on April 8: "The army, like every Pakistani awaits a decision based on justice and merit".

In the objections filed before the court, the Sharif family and the Finance Minister rejected the JIT report and argued that the team violated its mandate, reports the Dawn.

The case centres on the so-called Panama Papers that were published previous year, which referred to over 11 million secret documents of numerous world's rich and powerful from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

PM Sharif has contended that the "controversial" JIT had submitted a report "based on accusations and conjecture" that reflected "animosity and malice". We want that the ruling Muslim-N League (PML-N) completes its term in office because it won the election, but it must choose another prime minister, explained Syed Khrusheed Shah, the opposition leader in the National Assembly and a PPP member.

However, the document raises eyebrows because it is dated February 2006 and typed in Calibri - a font that was not introduced until 2007.

The investigative team released its report to the court on July 10.

"The entire investigation was a farce and an eyewash and was undertaken with a predisposed mind to malign and implicate the respondents in some wrongdoing or the other", according to the objection filed by the Sharif family.

Sharif had even suggested that the army had an upper hand in the JIT report.

The bill was delayed for years and to muster wider support for its passage Maryam helped organize a screening at Prime Minister's House of a grim Oscar-winning documentary, "Girl in the River", about an attempted honor killing in Pakistan.

The extremely detailed report was drafted by five investigators, including representatives from the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) and the Corps of Military Intelligence (MI), with the support of foreign lawyers, forensic experts and worldwide financial authorities.

Sharif is the only Pakistani politician who has the distinction of being the prime minister of the coup-prone country for a record 3 times.

He has talked of a conspiracy against him, but has not named anyone. "Army has no role in the process". After winning the elections again in 2013, Sharif sought to reach out to the army, although it is believed that despite his efforts, the civilian government and the military in Pakistan do not share a particularly close relationship.

However, the hearing was adjourned for the next day with the observation of Justice Ejaz that they do not wish to waste the time of the court and nation.