Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan has adjourned hearing a slew of petitions seeking a probe into Panama Leaks till Thursday.

The five-member larger bench resumed the hearing after a delay of two weeks today as the hearing was adjourned on February 1 owing to the illness of Justice Azmat Saeed.

During today’s hearing, Salam kicked off his arguments by expressing that the Sharif family passed through a trauma in 1999 after the martial law by Pervez Musharraf.

He went on and maintained that presenting record of last 45 years was impossible adding that he would answer questions on the basis of the available record which suggests that the premier did not commit any wrongdoing.

Justice Aijaz Afzal questioned regarding how the scions of Nawaz Sharif purchased London flats. Salman replied that Hussain Nawaz purchased London flats through business of his grandfather Mian Sharif.

‘According to NAB’s law, the onus of proof rests with the plaintiff and not the premier’ said Salman Akram Raja.

He expressed that the apex court could constitute a judicial commission as well because the court investigated NICL and Hajj corruption scam as well.

Salman went on and argued that the Minerva financial services received barrier certificates in 2006. He reaffirmed that Al-Thani family purchased the flats between 1993-96 and Sharif family was not the owner of said flats even in 1999.

Justice Azmat Saeed who recently recovered after cardiac issues inquired ‘When would you present record? Raja Sahib!’.

Salman categorically rejected the Rehman Malik report regarding the alleged money laundering by Sharif family.

Justice Aijaz Afzal inquired as to who would provide the documents as the scenario was becoming complicated. He went on and remarked that the larger bench could not wind up the matter as the plaintiff as well as respondent failed to submit any documents.

Justice Aijaz also inquired as to who instructed Arina firm to get in touch with Minerva. To this, Salman replied that Hussain Nawaz might have passed on the instruction. Justice Aijaz inquired as to who and when the documents regarding mortgage were signed.

Justice Aijaz also remarked that new hypothetical assumptions were being put forth with each passing day possibly due to barrage of questions by the larger bench.

‘No one is presenting the whole truth’ remarked justice Aijaz Afzal.

Salman Akram claimed that the Minerva Financial Services detached itself from the documents that date back to 2005. He maintained that he was neither an accused, nor a witness.

Justice Asif Khosa in his remarks said that Hussain Nawaz claimed to submit money against mortgage till date.

Meanwhile, during the break, PTI’s representative Fawad Chaudhry expressed that Sharif family did not answer a simple question adding that the Sharif family refers to documents harking back to 1980s but failed to present those documents.

The apex court has adjourned the hearing till Thursday and Salman Akram Raja would be continuing his arguments to justify the money trail of Sharif family.

Counsel for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Naeem Bukhari and counsel for Jamaat-e-Islami Taufeeq Asad have already completed their arguments before the apex court.

On the other hand, PM’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan also winded up his arguments arguing that the premier could not be disqualified on the basis of speech, he made on the floor of the house.

During the last hearing,  Salman Akram Raja, counsel for Hassan and Hussain Nawaz kicked off his arguments by expressing that Mian Shareef had absolute control over the family business.

He claimed that Tariq Shafi did not manage the daily affairs of the Gulf Factory as he was just a witness to payment of Rs. 12 million AED to Al-Thani family for investment.

Justice Asif Khosa replied that the premier mentioned about setting up six new factories during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s stint.