ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son Hassan Nawaz has said that the premier was being pressured by subjecting his children to grueling questioning sessions of the Panama Papers Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
Speaking to reporters after emerging from the JIT questioning session that lasted around three hours, he said “I have answered all the questions posed to me by the JIT and submitted all relevant documents to it. I asked them (investigators) as to what allegations are against us. Why is he being made to face questioning for 7 to 8 hours.”
He said the premier’s children were being used to target him for he was successfully leading the country towards prosperity. He said the family was receiving summons after summons and added, “We all siblings have been issued up to 12 subpoenas by the JIT.” “It is trying to dig out something to implicate us.”
The prime minister’s younger son appeared for the third time before the JIT, headed by FIA additional director Wajid Zia, appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the money laundering allegations against the Sharif family stemming from the Panama Papers.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is also scheduled to appear before the JIT at 3:00 pm. This will be his first interaction with Panama Papers probe team. The finance minister was summoned twice earlier but failed to turn up, sources said.
The finance minister has been asked to bring all the relevant tax returns from 2003 to 2006 as these records are not available with Federal Board of Revenue. He will also be questioned about his confessional statement about Sharif family’s alleged involvement in money laundering.
Dar had given a confessional statement before a court in Hudaibya Paper Mills case in year 2000 that Sharifs used the paper mill to whiten the black money, however, he later said he had given the statement under duress.
The premier’s elder son Hussain Nawaz and daughter Mariam Safdar are scheduled to appear before the JIT on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. It would be Hussain’s sixth and Mariam’s first appearance before the JIT.
Earlier on Sunday, the Panama Papers JIT had questioned PM’s cousin Tariq Shafi for three hours for the second time. Speaking to journalists after his appearance he said the JIT questioned him about Gulf Steel Mills but he did not submit any document.
The JIT is winding up the probe as it is required to submit its final report before the Supreme Court by the deadline of July 10. It has been given 60 days to probe the Sharif family’s properties and the money trail behind it as part of the verdict announced in the Panama Papers case. The Supreme Court reviews progress of the investigation after every fortnight.