Panama Papers: Sharif to appear before probe panel

PAT chief Tahirul Qadri speaks to reporters at Lahore airport upon his return from Canada

PAT chief Tahirul Qadri speaks to reporters at Lahore airport upon his return from Canada

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not likely to appear before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in Panama Case on Thursday, sources said on Tuesday.

Though the allegations were not directly levelled by JIT head Wajid Zia, the information was made public in the open court without further explanation by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, a member of the three-judge Supreme Court implementation bench formed to oversee the investigation of the Sharif family in the light of Panama Papers revelations.

The summon was issued to Sharif, 67, after he returned from his Kazakhstan where he attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit.

CM Sharif has been instructed to bring documents related to Hudaibia Paper Mills and business documents. This will entail almost all the documents and evidence submitted before the Supreme Court by the prime minister's counsel, Makhdoom Ali Khan.

As per a report by the Pakistan-based daily Dawn, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar may also be questioned by the panel.

Sharif had met with his close aides yesterday in Lahore to discuss the issue.

Preparations are underway in Islamabad ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's appearance before the JIT.

The joint investigation team (JIT) was appointed two months ago after the Supreme Court reached a controversial split decision on whether to throw Mr Sharif out of office after an investigation lasting several months.

The apex court had sought an immediate reply from the Panama case JIT against the leaking of Hussain Nawaz picture.

It is pertinent to mention that JIT has summoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for questioning regarding offshore wealth on Thursday at 11.00 pm.

The JIT is bound to complete the investigation in 60 days, unless it is granted additional time.

It is for the first time that a sitting prime minister would appear before a high-level probe team traditionally constituted to investigate high-profile criminal cases.

However, sources said that the prime minister is unlikely to appear before the JIT on June 15 and a prior application will be presented to the JIT in this regard.

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