ISLAMABAD – The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court (SC) to probe into Panama Case and the allegations on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, has decided to summon PM and Qatari Prince for the questioning.
However, the team is still in quandary on how to interrogate Prime Minister, in a way which neither hurts his position nor gives ammunition to opposition against him.
The SC had announced a three-judge bench to implement its judgment in the Panama Papers case. The bench consists of Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.
Express Tribune has reported via its sources privy to the working of the JIT said: “The team does not want to visit the PM House to question the prime minister, as it will attract a lot of ire from the opposition and may attract accusations of partisan attitude.”
On the other hand, the option is to issue a notice to the prime minister. Such a notice is normally issued under CrPC 160 which means that the prime minister is being considered as an accused,” they added.
“This is a situation that again is to be avoided as it will give the opposition a lot of ammunition to fire at the prime minister.”
The JIT has therefore met the SC registrar on Tuesday earlier this week to discuss the matter and work out a solution to the issue.
“So far they have not reached any conclusion; hence, they will seek the directions of the bench,” the sources said.
The JIT is empowered to summon the prime minister, his sons and if required others like Finance Minister Ishaq Dar or even Prime Minister’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif.
The team has also decided to summon Qatari Prince Hamad bin Jassim for questioning over Qatari Letter Sharif family produced in court in their defence.
Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar will be approached to deliver a request from the JIT to the prince, asking him to travel to Pakistan and appear before the JIT.
It is interesting to note that during the court proceedings the lawyers of the Sharif family had stressed that Prince Jassim will appear in the court if required. It will be interesting to see if he cooperates with the JIT.