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    Thursday, June 15, 2017

    PM Nawaz appears before JIT probing Panamagate case on Thursday

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived at the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) in Islamabad on Thursday to make his maiden appearance before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing Sharif family’s offshore properties in line with the apex court’s verdict in Panamagate case.

    The premier who arrive amid tight security was accompanied by his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and one of his sons. Television footage showed a seemingly-relaxed PM Nawaz waving at party workers before entering the building in Sector H-8/4 which has been temporarily turned into the JIT’s secretariat.Meanwhile, police officials deployed outside the secretariat barred PML-N leaders Khawaja Asif and Ishaq Dar from entering the premises. Other political activists clashed with policemen and raised slogans against the authorities.Scores of PML-N supporters thronged roads near the JIT secretariat, waived their party flags and chanted slogans in favour of PM Nawaz. Banners in support of the premier were also seen hoisted around the area.

    The ruling party had instructed its workers to reach the federal capital in support of PM Nawaz. PML-N leader said the party’s show of strength during Sharif’s appearance is a tactic to counter pressure of the JIT whose earlier interrogations ruffled feathers of other members of the Sharif family.The PM’s elder son Hussain Nawaz moved the Supreme Court for changing the JIT’s formation while Shari’s cousin Tariq Shafi moved the top court against what he described as his harassment by the JIT. Hussain again moved the SC against the leakage of his photograph during interrogation.

    Reportedly, Sharifs’ legal wizards have advised them to focus ‘intensely’ on the versions of the family members shared with the inquiry panel, which, the PML-N leadership’s legal team believes, is the key to effective defence in the case.
    Meanwhile, refusal of Qatari prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber al Thani to come to Pakistan and appear before the JIT has added to the ruling camp’s worries. The Qatari prince’s presumed letters were presented by the ruling family’s counsels in the apex court during the Panamagate case hearing to establish money trail over the London properties of the Sharifs.  The prince has, however, conveyed his refusal for to appear before the inquiry panel. The ruling party has been trying to convince the prince to record his statement before the JIT through video link but chances of his appearance are slim. The JIT has, however, not summoned the Qatari royalty so far.
    Capital security
    Meanwhile, Islamabad administration has tightened security in view of the situation.
    Millions of rupees have been spent by the civic authorities, especially the Capital Development Authority (CDA), on cosmetic measures such as cementing of roads and beautification of the PM’s route.
    Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) have devised a special traffic plan. Three major connecting roads in the area leading to the FJA have been closed for traffic.
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    Item Reviewed: PM Nawaz appears before JIT probing Panamagate case on Thursday Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar