Panama JIT head Wajid Zia records statement in second appearance before NAB

  • Wajid Zia had a session with NAB's Rawalpindi team yesterday
  • The Panama JIT head would be substantiating JIT's findings at a time when former PM Nawaz Sharif is departing for London
  • The accountability watchdog issued summons to Sharif family twice but they did not show up
Pakistan

LAHORE – The head of a six-member Joint Investigation Team formulated by the Supreme Court to look into offshore assets of Sharif family, Wajid Zia appeared before National Accountability Bureau today (Wednesday) to record his statement.

Zia, who appeared before a team of NAB at Rawalpindi office on Tuesday had another session at Bureau’s Lahore office, to amass credible evidence against the embattled Sharif family before the filing of references, in line with the top court’s July 28th verdict.

The NAB had summoned Wajid Zia for recording a statement before its investigation team, headed by Director NAB Rizwan Ahmed, for the preparation of the references against former premier Nawaz Sharif, his two sons — Hussain Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif, his son-in-law Captain (R) Muhammad Safdar and Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar as per directives of the Supreme Court.

During Tuesday’s session, Wajid Zia, an additional director of Federal Investigation Agency handed over to the bureau some documents pertaining to the alleged corruption of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other members of his family, said a senior NAB official to Dawn News.

During his meeting with NAB investigators, Mr Zia provided verified statements of Nawaz Sharif, his children Maryam, Hussain and Hassan, as well as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The accountability watchdog will finalize filing of four references against the Sharif family early next month after receiving input from Wajid Zia and other members of high-powered JIT.

The Joint Investigation Team was constituted by the apex court in its April 20th order to look into the wheelings and dealings of Sharif family.

Panama Case verdict: Supreme Court disqualifies PM Nawaz Sharif

The JIT members were Amer Aziz of the State Bank of Pakistan, Executive Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan Bilal Rasool, NAB Director Irfan Naeem Mangi, Brig Muhammad Nauman Saeed of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Brig Kamran Khurshid of the Military Intelligence (MI). The inquiry panel was headed by Federal Investigation Agency’s Additional Director, Wajid Zia.

A few days ago, Supreme Court’s Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan had permitted the graft buster to quiz the JIT members, as he was appointed the supervisory judge by Chief Justice Nasir ul Mulk to keep an eye on the implementation of Panama case verdict.

“All legal requirements and formalities are fulfilled and to avoid any possible lacuna that may damage the case, led the head of the JIT and any other concerned member who had collected the relevant evidence pursuant to the directions passed by this court record their statement before NAB,” said a communication issued by the Supreme Court registrar to Wajid Zia.

On the other hand, when NAB is gearing up to file references against the embattled Sharif family, former premier Nawaz Sharif, his children, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar did not appear before NAB despite being issued summons twice.

The ‘House of Sharif’ through a written reply to NAB contended that the investigations were merely an eyewash and took the plea that as a review petition has been filed in the top court, so they could not record the statement before any decision is made on the petitions.

Moreover, Nawaz Sharif also departed for London on Wednesday where he will be celebrating Eidul Azha along with his sons Hassan and Hussain, who are already there.