ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition filed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz raising objections on two members of a joint investigation team tasked to probe Sharif family’s offshore assets.
“Inquiry is being conducted against prime minister and his family and it is not possible that the PM himself picks the members of the joint investigation team,” the court observed. “We will not remove or change any member of JIT on basis of mere suspicions and until something concrete turns up. Instead, we will direct them to act independently and fairly,” Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed. The court asked as to why the Sharif family has questioned those two members in the JIT who have expertise in investigating white-collar crimes.
The court, however, ruled that the JIT should give due respect to all the persons being summoned by them for interrogation. The three-judge implementation bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan took up the matter for hearing. Advocate Khawaja Haris appeared before the court and contended that the neutrality of the JIT had been compromised.
The counsel told the bench that Bilal Rasool from the SECP was pro-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and had been vocal against the Sharif family on social media, adding that his activities on the social media had been removed by his wife after he became member of the JIT.
The counsel added that Amer Aziz, another member of the JIT, was not an employee of the SBP, adding that he was CFO of Al Barka Islamic Bank in 1997 which was an associated organisation of Al Towfeek Company for Investment Funds which had a commercial dispute with Hudabiya Paper Mills since 1994.
Likewise, the counsel pleaded before the bench that Tariq Shafi had been intimidated and threatened that if he would not take his earlier affidavits regarding family businesses back, he will have to face the consequences. The counsel added that JIT misbehaved with Tariq Shafi and he was made to sit before them for several hours.
However, Justice Saeed observed that the gentleman was called in for interrogation and not on a cup of tea.
During the course of hearing, JIT chief Wajid Zia told the court that NBP President Saeed Ahmed was not appearing before the JIT.
Justice Saeed observed that if someone was not appearing, non-bail able warrant of arrest needed to be issued against him, adding that court knows how to deal with the matter.
However, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf assured the court that NBP president will appear before the court.
Zia further told the bench that Hamad bin Jassim, Qatari price, and Kashif Masood Qazi, whose name was used to open fake accounts by Ishaq Dar, did not appear before the JIT despite being issued summons.
Justice Shiekh Azmat Saeed said if Hamad bin Jassim does not appear before the JIT, then Qatari letter should be thrown out of window.