July 12, 2017

JIT report, if implemented, will result in minus Nawaz formula

ISLAMABAD: The JIT findings, if found true and implemented too, will be a perfect recipe to the minus Nawaz Sharif formula besides excluding his daughter Maryam Nawaz also from Pakistani politics. It would thus pave the way for Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz to lead the N-League.

The JIT though found Shahbaz Sharif also entangled in the under-probe dealings of Sharifs businesses and wealth, he is spared in the report which otherwise in certain matters went beyond its mandate. The report charged Shahbaz Sharif with “false statement” and concealing facts but suggested no action against him.

Besides other charges like tampering, forgery, perjury, etc, the JIT finds Nawaz Sharif and his three children — Maryam, Hussain and Hassan — to have assets beyond known means of income.

On the issue of 1999’s Al-Tawfeeq litigation in London’s English High Court to which Shahbaz Sharif and his late father Mian Sharif and late brother Abbas Sharif were parties, the JIT report said that the chief minister Punjab while appearing before the JIT “refused to answer questions concerning the Hudabiya and Al-Tawfeek litigation and related issues of registration of cautions against the registered titles of Mayfair apartments.”

The report said, “He (Shahbaz Sharif) refused to answer any question relating to the English High Court proceedings involving Hudabiya in which he was personally arrayed as the Second Defendant by claiming that the English High Court proceedings were quashed by the Pakistani High Court.”

The JIT found the above statement of the chief minister “patently false” and “unsubstantiated” belied by the available record. “Moreover, Mr Shahbaz Sharif never produced the judgment of any High Court of Pakistan to this effect, nor is the JIT otherwise aware of any such judgment. Mr Shahbaz Sharif, however, persisted that the JIT could not probe into this issue.”

The JIT complained, “Despite being made aware that JIT had been mandated in this regard by the Honorable Court, he remained adamant about not answering any questions concerning the placing of caution over the Mayfair apartments.”

The JIT report said that Shahbaz Sharif was a party to the family’s “settlement agreement” concerning the family’s assets, which has a nexus between Hudabiya and the Mayfair apartments.

Regarding the Qatari factor, the JIT said that Shahbaz Sharif in his statement stated that he neither knew, nor could confirm by what means and how much money did Tariq Shafi give to Al Thani after the sale of Gulf Steel Mills. “Furthermore, he stated that he does not know whether proceeds investment with Qatari Prince were used by Mr Hassan Nawaz Sharif for establishment of his businesses in UK.”

Regarding the Gulf Steel Mills, the JIT said that according to Tariq Shafi, Shahbaz Sharif was actively involved in the affairs of Gulf Steel Mills, especially from 1978 to 1980. However, when asked by the JIT he “distanced” himself and stated that he did not play any role in the functioning of Gulf Steel Mills and only assisted Tariq Shafi on the direction of his father with reference to preparation of Shares Sale Agreement in 1980.

The report said that Shahbaz Sharif also did not verify his signatures on Shares Sales Agreement of 1978 or being witness in subject deed. Similarly, the report said although Shahbaz Sharif acknowledged that his name was shown as “unauthorized representative of Tariq Shafi” in the opening statement as well as the signature block at the end of the 1980 sale agreement, he was quick to point out that he had not signed this document or had executed this sale. “It would seem that both Mr Tariq Shafi and Mr Shahbaz Sharif wanted to steer away from the issue of sale of Gulf Steel.”


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