Panamagate JIT probe swayed by civil-military tension, says Maryam in Avenfield’s testimony

11:05 AM | 24 May, 2018
Panamagate JIT probe swayed by civil-military tension, says Maryam in Avenfield’s testimony
ISLAMABAD - Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter, Maryam Nawaz, has started recording her statement in the Avenfield case on Thursday.

Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed hearing of the case after Nawaz, Marym and Captain (retd) Safdar, who are accused persons in the referenced filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), appeared before the court.

In his testimony, Maryam backed his father’s reservations on the members of the joint investigation team. She said that appointment of Irfan Mangi as director general of NAB was still pending with the court and he was engaged for the probe without ignoring it.

She went on to say that Amir Aziz from State Bank of Pakistan was a close aide of the former military dictator Pervez Musharraf.

Maryam also said officials of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence should not have been made part of the investigation team. Aziz was sent on deputation in NAB during Musharraf’s era.

She said that Nauman Saeed was not part of the ISI when he was included in the JIT, adding that he was outsourced.

The former first daughter added that 70-year-long civil-military tussle also influenced the JIT, investigation into the business dealings of the Sharif family.

She highlighted that report prepared by the JIT could not be presented as an evidence in the references. She further said that the Supreme Court had ordered to file cases in the light of the evidence collected by the JIT, but did not ask the JIT report to be made part of any reference as an evidence.

The former prime minister has already recorded his statement in the case. He gave answers to the 128 questions asked by the accountability court in three days.

While recording answers to the last five questions, the three-time prime minister made startling revelations before the accountability court and revealed the reason behind his trial.

He said that corruption references against him were initiated as "punishment" for initiating a treason case against former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. He said that challenges and pressure ramped up on him after the treason case.

He said that the 2014 sit-ins were also started following the treason case. During the protests, a message from the head of an intelligence agency was conveyed to him, suggesting that he should resign or go on an extended leave, Nawaz added.

Nawaz, in his statement on Tuesday, denied any involvement in the Avenfield properties, any business dealings with the Qatari family and other businesses. He also claimed that Qatari Prince, Hamad bin Jasim Al Thani, had never declined to join proceedings of the Panamagate joint investigation team.

At Monday’s hearing,  Nawaz expressed concerns about members of the JIT, sayin it was inappropriate to include officers spy agencies in the investigation team.