Panama probe: Pak PM Nawaz Sharif’s family rejects JIT probe; all that has happened so far

Panama probe: Meanwhile, today, Sharif rubbished the JIT's findings, dismissing the report as "trash" allegations that the Sharif family has accumulated wealth far above its earnings.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 11, 2017 2:48 pm
Nawaz Sharif, Panama probe, Maryam Nawaz, Pakistan nawaz sharif, Pakistan panama papers, Panama probe JIT, Sharif Panama probe Panama probe: The JIT report claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s businesses alone are probably not enough to explain the family’s wealth. The probe team also recommended that the anti-corruption agency, National Accountancy Bureau (NAB), file a case against the premier, as reported by Dawn newspaper.

It started in April 2016 when more than 11 million documents from the secret files of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca with its list of worldwide clientele was leaked out. These records reveal a list of individuals who have paid the firm — and bought the benefits of the secretive, lax regulatory system in which it operates — to set up offshore entities in tax havens around the world. Besides, the law firm met their demands for a fee that helps mask real ownership but still show compliance.

In this revelation, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family figured in the list of people who owned offshore companies and assets. The assets in question include four expensive flats in Park Lane, London. In fact, as recently as Monday, a joint investigation team (JIT) found “glaring disparities” between their known sources of income and their actual wealth in its final report submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday, a media report said.

The JIT report claimed that the Prime Minister’s businesses alone are probably not enough to explain the family’s wealth. The probe team also recommended that the anti-corruption agency, National Accountancy Bureau (NAB), file a case against the premier, as reported by Dawn newspaper. The JIT, which was set up by the Supreme Court to investigate corruption claims that surfaced following the Panama Papers leak, spent at least two months probing the Sharif family’s wealth and produce its finding to the court.

Meanwhile, today, Sharif rubbished the JIT’s findings, dismissing the report as “trash” allegations that the Sharif family has accumulated wealth far above its earnings.

Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz tweeted saying: “JIT report REJECTED. Every contradiction will not only be contested but decimated in SC.”

Although the probe hasn’t been made public, leaked documents were widely circulated on social media with opposition leader and former Pakistan cricketer Imran Khan demanding Sharif’s resignation. The probe has also sparked fears among investors in Pakistan’s equity market. The country’s benchmark index has been on a retreat since June over palpable fears that in the event of Sharif’s removal, Pakistan would plunge into chaos once again after years of relative stability.

Pakistan’s Defence Minister and one of Sharif’s closest aides Asif Khawaja rejected the report as having “full of flaws”, adding that the ruling party would contest the JIT findings in the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the country’s apex court will decide on how to proceed with the JIT’s report and whether to call for a trial.

Back in April this year, the apex court had ruled that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to remove Sharif from office, but it did order further investigations on the Prime Minister.

The JIT team, constituted to probe into the irregularities in wealth of Prime Minister and his family, comprised members of powerful military bodies like the ISI. The probe soon became highly politicised as the Prime Minister’s backers as well as opponents fought over JIT’s probe and allegiance of its members, with Sharif’s allies alleging conspiracy against him. Imran Khan, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, alleged that Nawaz Sharif “has now lost all moral authority” and demanded his immediate resignation.

Meanwhile, in India, an eight-month long investigation by The Indian Express conducted in April last year revealed the names of over 500 Indians who figured in the Fonseca’s list of offshore companies, foundations and trusts. Executive editor Ritu Sarin, National Affairs Editor Vaidyanathan Iyer and Associate Editor Jay Mazoomdaar of The Indian Express were part of the investigation.

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  1. J
    Jyoti Prakash Mitra
    Jul 16, 2017 at 1:14 am
    Pakistani PM send out his Own Money on Panama Policy via #ISI for Revenue Totality. The Return will not come under Terrorist Finance, which ISI is doing since 1983. I feel this duplicacy was carried out since 2011. On this note, money of Indian film stars are not at all favourable for India (If anyhow Retail Quality collapses in India, 200 chances of terrorism will be there of several kinds).
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      Concerned Citized
      Jul 11, 2017 at 6:21 pm
      After so many proofs, caught lies they still reject this. If i remember correctly, Maryam said she dosent even have property in Pakistan. Lies and lies
      Reply
      1. H
        harun hafeez
        Jul 11, 2017 at 3:44 pm
        Typical Islamic response..Reject truth outright.Shameless scums.Mullahs in Pakistan isnt this Open loot of Sweat and blood of Muslims.Why do they give Fatuwas for everyone execpt tyrants and corrupt Muslims.These are 3rd rate porkis living in Porkistan
        Reply
        1. S
          Sudarshan Nityananda
          Jul 11, 2017 at 3:23 pm
          Here in India can we imagine an impartial JIT acting against a sitting senior politician ? Such a JIT will need several “permissions” to be setup , with each level of politician protecting the other. Even the SC is stymied by the rule that Governors in office cannot be investigated , even if they are openly corrupt. We also saw how the courts waited till Jaya was safely out of the way before convicting Sasikala. Is it time to accept that in some things at least, the Pak law enforcement and judicial system is superior to ours ?
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          1. C
            Concerned Citized
            Jul 11, 2017 at 6:24 pm
            Sudarshan, Its not they system, it was Imran Khan the only leader that not only spoke against corruption but also took stand for it. Courts were not taking the case untill he protested and rallies cam out in whole country. We have almost same corrupt system as of yours (if not worst)
            Reply