N dubs JIT report 'trash'

Allan Goodman
July 11, 2017

A case was made by the government of slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto against Nawaz Sharif but it was not pursued when Mr.Sharif returned to power in 1997.

The JIT was working on the instructions of the Apex Court as it had directed the investigation team to look into the family belongings of Sharif.

Although Mr. Sharif had won a 3-2 split verdict in April this year, the apex court constituted a JIT to conduct fresh investigations into his family assets. His younger brother appeared thrice. Maryam Nawaz, Sharif's daughter and political heir apparent, was also questioned.

A three-judge special bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan will examine the final report and decide further course of action.

The probe has expanded to include corruption allegations regarding the sale and purchase of various industrial units in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan demanded immediate resignation of the prime minister.

There was no confirmation of the report as the court adjourned the hearing till next Monday.

Sharif's close aide and minister for development Iqbal later said, "If you review this report, it has no logical argument neither it quoted authentic sources nor material, but is based on things that have no authenticity before the law".

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Sharif denies any wrongdoing, saying the sources all of his family's assets can be legally accounted for.

However, PML-N leaders continue to claim innocence about the involvement of Sharif and his family members.

Sheikh Al Thani was invited to testify before the inquiry, or to record his testimony at the Pakistani embassy in Qatar.

Asif added that he was under the impression that the report contained strong evidence, but it leaned heavily on Rehman Malik's statements. The investigators did not do so.

After submission of the report, the bench ordered registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zaffar Hijazi in order to find out who was behind tampering business record of the Sharif family.

The report suggested the National Accountability Bureau, the country's main anti-corruption watchdog, should open a "reference" or case against Sharif and his three children under the provisions of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance of 1999.

In such a case, he would be removed from office, with members of parliament tasked with electing a new prime minister.

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