JIT recommends filing reference against PM, his two sons in Panamagate scandal

Posted July 11, 2017

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has recommended the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his sons, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz.

The apex court had announced formation of the joint investigation team in the anxiously-awaited verdict of the Panama Papers case on April 20 to probe offshore properties of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family.

He said there were many lacuanas in the report and the same would be highlighted before the court. Besides his three children, the panel questioned his daughter Maryam's husband Muhammad Safdar Awan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is related to the Prime Minister's family through marriage.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the report is a "compilation of allegations" hurled by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The report also alleged there was "irregular movement of huge amounts in shape of loans and gifts" from companies based in Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates to Sharif's family and Pakistan-based companies.

The JIT's measure of recording and tapping phone calls is an illegal act, he further said.

"There exists a significant disparity between the wealth declared by the respondents and the means through which the respondents had generated income from known or declared sources", the report said, according to a partial copy released to reporters.

"This report is a political statement which reads like an Imran-nama", the minister said.

"The JIT's report is dharna number three and it too is bound to fail like the previous two", he said, adding that his party's lawyers were analyzing the report from every angle.

The opposition seized on the allegations, however, with cricket legend-turned-opposition leader Imran Khan calling on Sharif to "immediately step down".

A four-member FIA team constituted by the Supreme Court to look into the allegations by the JIT probing money laundering charges against the Sharif family, proved the record tampering. "We hope the Supreme Court bench will send this report into the trash bin ... to where it rightfully belongs", he concluded.

It also probed several serving and former officials. They appeared once before the JIT. "He should go away and should be barred from leaving the country along with other family members", he said.