ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif is appearing before the Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Saturday. Shehbaz Sharif is the fourth member of the Sharif family to appear before the JIT.
Shehbaz Sharif is the fourth member of the Sharif family to have appeared before the JIT.Â
The chief minister arrived at the Federal Judicial Academy at approximately 11am flanked by his son Hamza Shehbaz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Initially, when Shehbaz Sharif departed from the Punjab House he was riding in a white land cruiser driven by Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan which was followed by another black SUV.
However, when the vehicles arrived at the Federal Judicial Academy the chief minister was still riding in the white SUV but instead of Chaudhry Nisar, Hamza Shehbaz was in the driving seat.
According to sources, the vehicles stopped twice while en route to the Federal Judicial Academy and it was during these unscheduled stops that the seating arrangement was changed.
About 2,547 police officers were deployed along the route of the judicial academy.
With everyone’s focus on the JIT, especially the opposition parties that led the charge against the Sharif family, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Khan Tareen took to Twitter and shared his opinion that the Punjab chief minister was being quizzed by the JIT “due to his involvement in the Hudaybia money laundering scam.”
In another tweet, he added, that one by one member’s of the ruling Sharif family were being investigated. He added that he would be looking at Shehbaz Sharif’s body language for leads as to how the JIT session went.
The JIT is probing the global money trail of the Sharif family in light of the Supreme Courtâ€™s April 20 judgment in the Panama Papers case.Earlier, a meeting was held at the Punjab House where the chief minister was advised by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders including Chaudhry Nisar prior to his appearance before the JIT.
The chief minister arrived in the federal capital on Friday evening and said the conspiracy elements are once again indulging in politics of lies.
â€œI donâ€™t have time to respond to the oppositionâ€™s baseless allegations and will serve the people till my last breath,â€� said the Punjab chief minister.
Engaging in falsehood will not benefit their negative politics, he said, adding that people have never voted for those who level false allegations.
In a recent report to the court, the JIT had complained of â€˜impedimentsâ€™ in its investigation by several government departments.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the JIT to answer their queries.
After the session, he said that every penny earned by his family is accounted for, adding that these are assets related to his private family wealth and have nothing to do with public funds.
He also rejected all allegations of wrongdoing and corruption hurled by his opponents.
The JIT has summoned the premierâ€™s elder son, Hussain Nawaz, five times and his younger son, Hassan, twice.
The probe so far
The Supreme Court began investigating the Sharif family late last year after the main political parties failed to agree on a committee to probe the Panama Papers leaks, and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan threatened mass protests and to â€˜shut down Islamabadâ€™.
The JIT â€” formed on May 6 â€” was given 60 days to complete its probe into the Sharif familyâ€™s international financial dealings and submit its report to the Supreme Courtâ€™s special implementation bench overseeing its proceedings.
The JIT team is headed by Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia, and includes members from Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan and the National Accountability Bureau.Â