SC constitutes another JIT to probe Nawaz's role in Pakpattan shrine land case

01:20 PM | 13 Dec, 2018
SC constitutes another JIT to probe Nawaz's role in Pakpattan shrine land case
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ISLAMABAD - Amid a storm of controversies and legal troubles, the Supreme Court has constituted another joint investigation (JIT) team on Thursday to probe the role of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a case related to the transfer Pakpattan shrine land, some three decades ago.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the suo motu case pertaining to the transfer of 14,000 kanals of land of the Pakpattan shrine to Dewan Ghulam Qutab in 1985.

Nawaz Sharif was the then-chief minister of Punjab province when the land in question was transferred and so the top court has brought him under the radar.

During the hearing of the case, the top judge remarked that from the documents apparently Nawaz Sharif as Punjab chief minister transferred the Auqaf Department’s land to a private owner, however, the former premier says he does not remember any such transfer.

Justice Nisar then referred to Nawaz’s lawyer, Barrister Zafarullah, and inquired who should investigate the case to which he said that anybody could be directed for the purpose.

“Nawaz says he did not de-notify the land. Do you know what the consequences will be if this is proven wrong,” Justice Nisar further added.

After hearing the arguments, the top court constituted a three-member JIT headed by National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) Chairman Khaliq Dad Lak and comprising an official each of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The bench remarked that the rules and regulations of the JIT will be decided by December 27 and JIT members should appear before Supreme Court after submitting Terms of Reference (ToRs) by the same date.

“The JIT will probe the role of then-chief minister of Punjab province Nawaz Sharif in the transfer of the land,” the SC bench further said.

During the last hearing of the case, the Supreme Court had summoned Nawaz and asked him to suggest how to probe the case against him.

When the Chief Justice asked whether a JIT should probe the case, Nawaz said said some other body should probe the matter as his experience with JITs had not particularly been pleasant.