ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Political Secretary Asif Kirmani said on Monday that the joint investigation team (JIT) report into the Sharif family’s businesses cannot be completed without recording the statement of Qatari prince Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabar Al-Thani.
He was addressing the media after accompanying the prime minister’s younger son, Hasan Nawaz, who reached the Federal Judicial Academy on Monday to appear before the JIT.
A number of workers and local leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were also present at the venue to ‘receive’ the premier’s son.
Talking about the Qatari prince, whose letter came to the aid of the Sharif family during the Panama Papers case hearing by the Supreme Court earlier this year, Kirmani said the royal family member has repeatedly requested the JIT to record his statement but they have not done so.
He also referred to a report in today in this regard.
“The JIT report will be incomplete till the Qatari prince’s letter has been made part of the record,” he claimed.
As per the JIT’s statements in the Supreme Court, the Qatari prince had refused to come to Pakistan to record his statement citing security concerns. He later opted to record his statement with the JIT if it travels to Qatar to do so.
“The JIT has taken a u-turn from the real issues….their original mandate. They were supposed to acquire details on the London apartments, for which the Qatari letter is adequate,” added Kirmani. If this is not carried out, PML-N workers across the country will have reservations over the JIT’s report, he said further.
He claimed that after the JIT did not find anything on the London properties, investigators are now probing the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case which has been quashed by the Lahore High Court.
Kirmani lashed out at certain ‘elements’ in the media who ‘attack’ the ruling family every day on TV.
Kirmani also questioned the summoning of premier’s cousin Tariq Shafi, who appeared before the JIT for the second time on Sunday.
Addressing the PML-N workers and the public at large, he said “your leader is ‘sadiq’”, and warned Imran Khan that we’ve seen your ‘calls’ before in the long march [of 2009].
When asked why they did not object to the JIT when it was formed, he said “we had reservations on two JIT members but they were dismissed by the Supreme Court”.
Replying to a question, he said “I have not threatened the JIT, but am just relaying the feelings of PML-N workers and people of the country”.
Kirmani reiterated that the statement of the Qatari prince has to be recorded to ascertain the money trail of the Sharif family’s Parklane properties in London.
Earlier, during his address, Kirmani questioned why a legal firm was hired for an exorbitant amount by the JIT to obtain documents related to the Sharif family’s business when they could have acquired the same from the Supreme Court.
“This is the people’s money. The public wants to know who the JIT obliged by getting the legal firm on board,” he said.
As with his previous two appearances, this time around too Hasan has travelled from London to appear before the JIT, he said while starting his address.
This is the premier’s younger son’s third appearance before the Panama case JIT. He was earlier summoned on June 2 and June 8.
Imran Khan’s reaction
Reacting to Kirmani’s remarks, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said the ruling party is attempting to discredit the JIT as it has failed to ‘manage’ it.
In a message on Twitter, he shared a picture of PML-N leaders celebrating the Supreme Court’s April 20 judgment and questioned how soon they have forgotten their celebrations over the formation of the JIT.