ISLAMABAD – A member of the ruling Sharif family has reportedly raised objections over certain members of the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe the money trail of the first family.
According to a report by Dawn News, Hussain Nawaz, the prime minister’s elder son, is said to have expressed apprehensions over the presence of two officers, who in his opinion may affect the fairness and impartiality of the JIT and its outcome.
The application was moved days after the apex court received the first report by the six-member JIT, which was also directed to complete proceedings in allotted 60 days time.
Hussain, who’s name echoed throughout the courtroom during the Panama case proceedings, in a fresh application before the Supreme Court, requested that for the sake of propriety, the two officers should recuse themselves from the JIT for fair investigations into the allegations against the Sharif family.
Sources privy to the developments said one of the JIT members is a close friend of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and was very active when the treason case was being heard by the special court.
The other officer is said to be a relative of former Punjab governor Mian Azhar, a founding member of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) who later turned to PTI. Azhar’s son Hammad Azhar is a pivotal part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Lahore chapter and he contested elections from the NA-121 constituency as well.
Sources say that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officer Amer Aziz and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Executive Director Bilal Rasool are the two officers in question.
Talking to newsmen in capital, PTI chief Imran Khan also referred to this information, saying he had learnt about the objections raised by the Sharif family against two members of the JIT.
The cricketer-turned-politician slammed premier Nawaz Sharif for his refusal to step down while the probe was underway against him. Mr Khan also said that the minister currently overseeing the SBP and other financial institutions had faced a probe over money laundering.
In addition to Hussain Nawaz’s reservations, rumours are also rife that Tariq Shafi, the cousin of the prime minister, has also expressed reservations over the treatment meted out to him by the JIT.
Mr Shafi is the person who, in an affidavit furnished before the Supreme Court, claimed that he deposited 12 million UAE dirhams in cash with the Qatari rulers after the sale of Gulf Steel Mills in 1980.
Tariq Shafi in his affidavit had stated that he had deposited the money with Sheikh Fahad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani of Qatar after receiving each instalment from Mohammad Abdullah Kayed Ahli, the owner of the Ahli Steel Company, Dubai, in which Shafi held 25 percent shares.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Talal Chaudhry alluded to Sharif family’s concerns when he said the party had conveyed its reservations on the JIT to the Supreme Court.
Earlier, he had stressed that since both Hussain and Hassan Nawaz were non-resident Pakistanis, they deserved to be treated the same as other expatriates.