July 04, 2017

Conspiracy being hatched, says Dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday termed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan a liar and challenged him to present himself for accountability because he has been hatching a conspiracy against an elected prime minister whose name had never been mentioned in the Panama Papers.

Speaking to the media after appearing before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), Ishaq Dar said a conspiracy was being hatched at local and international level against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as it was now believed that Pakistan would be among the top 30 global economic powers in the next 12 years.

Ishaq Dar, who appeared quite furious during his talk, went on to say, “How much will you (Imran Khan) lie. You should be ashamed of conducting politics on the basis of lies. You have not changed yourself because you are still a liar, illiterate, gambler, coward, characterless and tax evader.”

“Ever since the last general elections have taken place, Imran Khan has been anxious. There has been a lobby behind Imran Khan and that lobby is hell-bent on destroying Pakistan. Whosoever Allah wants to succeed will succeed regardless of anyone’s wish,” he said.

Continuing his diatribe, he said, “Imran Khan is a scared man. A man who hides his marriage. When you ask him where he married Jemima Khan, he says Paris. But I know he is lying and I also know many other things.

“When the JIT was formed in Arslan Iftikhar case, he was given only a questionnaire to give his viewpoint so I request the Supreme Court to adopt the same procedure for Maryam Nawaz who is the daughter of this nation,” he said.

Dar said the Supreme Court has not given the mandate to the JIT to look into the Hudaibiya Papers Mills case but they see that it is putting in its efforts to dig out old issues for the sake of nothing. He said the Musharraf government prepared a reference on February 14, 2000 and then the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Lt Gen (retd) Amjad Naqvi signed it the same day and all the accused persons were produced in unholy haste.

“The Supreme Court on two occasions — reference againstformer chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Pakistan Steel Mills case — dismissed the cases due to ‘unholy haste’ shown by the prosecutors,” he said.

While talking about his confessional statement, he said it is nothing but trash because it was a manipulation by a military government and the honourable judges had declared that it has no evidentiary value.

“I remained federal minister four times and Nawaz Sharif became the prime minister thrice but no one can point a finger at us. Former NAB chief Lt Gen (retd) Amjad Naqvi in his interview in 2003 admitted that he found nothing wrong after reviewing the affairs of the ministries run by the Nawaz government,” he said.

Dar said Imran Khan often talks about morality but he forgets to look into the decision of the California court, adding, “My son has registered a defamation case against Imran Khan but he does not come to the court to prove his claims.

“Imran Khan is the same person who used filthy language against Benazir Bhutto but when it came to surface, he avoided to face the truth. He abused senior bureaucrats like the secretary Election Commission and the Nadra chairman because he is a puppet in the hands of foreign mentors who have been using him against Pakistan,” he said.

The minister raised the question how Imran Khan had become the second richest parliamentarian as he was not a son of an industrialist like Nawaz Sharif, adding, “Imran Khan is three times richer than I am. How does he have three times the assets I do?”

Referring to the election of the London Mayor, he said Imran Khan was supporting Zac Goldsmith (brother of Jemima Khan) instead of Sadiq Khan who was not only Muslim but the son of a poor man. Dar said the PTI chief has not learnt any lessons and he was still not able to digest the defeat he had faced in the 2013 general elections due to which he staged ‘dharnas (sit-ins)’ and then filed a petition.

The minister rejected the impression that he was summoned twice by the JIT and stated that he had received the notice on June 28 and now appeared before the JIT. To a question, he said no record has been tampered in the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and it was just a procedural mistake made by some official.

Earlier, Dar appeared before the JIT and faced interrogation for 40 minutes during which he also recorded his statement, especially about his controversial confessional statement that he submitted before a magistrate in the money laundering case related to the Hudaibiya Paper Mills, sources told The News.

The sources said Dar held an important meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and also consulted his legal and political aides before leaving the Prime Minister’s House for the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA).

Before arrival of the minister at the FJA, SSP Security Sajid Kiyani reached there and reviewed security arrangements. When Dar arrived along with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the workers of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) gathered around his car but the policemen immediately cleared his way into the FJA.

The sources claimed that the finance minister denied the content of the affidavit that he submitted before the magistrate in April 2000 and maintained that he did so ‘under duress’ during the dictatorial regime of Pervez Musharraf.

“The JIT members asked point-to-point questions from Ishaq Dar about opening of bank accounts in the names of members of the Qazi family — Sikandara Masood Qazi and Talat Masood Qazi — and Nuzhat Gohar and Kashif Masood Qazi in Bank of America and bank transaction through bank accounts of Saeed Ahmed, now president of National Bank of Pakistan, and Musa Ghani,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, Hassan Nawaz, the younger son of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said the children of Nawaz Sharif are being summoned by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to pressurise him and halt the process of progress and prosperity in Pakistan.

Talking to media persons after his appearance before the JIT for the third time, he said, “I am still unable to know what the JIT is trying to do because I have appeared before it thrice, answered all questions, recorded my statements and submitted documents but was told nothing about the allegations against me.”

He said the JIT has set up a ‘Jumma Bazaar’ of summons but when he asked them about the allegations against him the members were not able to say any word, adding, “I feel that the JIT only wants to mount pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by dragging the members of the Sharif family in the investigation process.

“It is a common legal practice all over the world that when allegation is levelled against anyone then investigation is held and case registered in the court of law. But here they are trying to go against the law because the court cases have ended, investigation is going on and efforts are on to find out allegations,” he said.

Hassan said, “I was asked pointless questions. I also asked them to tell me what my crime was. They should accuse me of something, even if it is motorcycle theft.”

He said he has been living in the United Kingdom for last 23 years and doing business for 15 years and the relevant authorities in that country never raised any kind of reservation over his business, but the JIT that has nothing to do with it is constantly trying to dig out something, which really never exists.

“I have submitted all documents related to bank accounts, loan agreements, tax returns of the companies, business and assets I own in the United Kingdom but when I asked the JIT to let me know the allegations against me no one gave me the answer,” he said.

Hassan said he was a non-resident Pakistani but when the JIT issued summons to him Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered him to appear before it and he and his family members are ready to appear even hundred times but they should be informed about the allegations against them. He strongly criticised the issuance of summons to the Sharif family members by the JIT and went on to say that “age of my grandmother is 85 years so the JIT should also issue summons to her.”

He hoped that the Sharif family members would come clean because the truth would remain the truth and it would prevail over the lies being spread by those who never want to see Pakistan moving ahead in the right direction.

Earlier, Hassan Nawaz appeared before the probe body and recorded another statement during his interrogation that lasted over two and a half hours, sources told The News.

When Hassan reached the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) at 11:00am in his car, the workers of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) tried to approach him but the policemen forced them back. Hassan came out of his car and waved his hand to the workers who were chanting slogans in favour of the Sharif family.

“The series of questions asked from Hassan Nawaz again revolved around the London Mayfair flats and transfer of money worth millions of dollars through fake bank accounts. In reply, Hassan Nawaz responded with details of his bank accounts and certified certificates from the British government that he already submitted before the probe body,” the sources said.

Hassan during his previous two appearances rejected the allegations of tax theft, hiding of assets and money laundering and provided business details along with documents duly certified by the British government. Sources said the JIT members also asked Hassan Nawaz about his real estate business and inquired whether any of his company played any role in transactions related to purchase of the London Mayfair flats.

It is pertinent to mention here that Hassan Nawaz appeared before the JIT for the third time to record his statement. Previously, he appeared before the probe team on June 2 and June 8.

According to media reports, the JIT has hired an international legal firm to verify the certified documents submitted by the Sharif family members from the relevant departments of the UK government. The sources said two senior officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministry handed over letter of Qatari Prince Hamad bin Jassim al Thani to the JIT in which he offered the probe body to come to Doha and record his statement.

“The Qatari prince is not ready to come to the Pakistani embassy in Qatar to record his statement. He wants the JIT’s team to visit his office in Doha where he is also willing to provide all relevant data in favour of his letters submitted in the Supreme Court,” the sources said.The JIT will present its final report to the Supreme Court on July 10.


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