The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by Supreme Court to investigate the Sharif family’s business dealings has recommended in the final report that the NAB open a reference against the prime minister and his family after it found glaring disparities between their known sources of income and their actual wealth.
The JIT report recommended that a reference should be filed against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, as well as daughter Maryam Nawaz under Section 9 of the NAB ordinance 1999. JIT found that the assets of Sharif family are more than the sources of their income and family was unable to provide substantive evidence of a reliable money trail.
There were many speculations regarding the final report of JIT. Senior leaders of ruling party tried their best to give impression that JIT has become controversial. But despite severe criticism from the government JIT concluded its job in an admirable manner.
Despite the allegations of being biased by associates of the ruling party, report of JIT is a big blow to the Sharif family. At the moment it seems ruling party trying to give impression of a mega conspiracy of changing regime. But in reality Panama Papers were not leaked under the orders of establishment or any other party. Panama Papers revealed hundreds of offshore companies of various world leaders and Pakistan was no exception. PTI particularly put pressure for the transparent accountability of the Panama Papers and eventually on the order of SC JIT was formed to investigate. It would be a mistake for the Sharifs to narrow this process down to machinations of the establishment.
It seems that political parties of opposition are over the moon after JIT concluded the report. Particularly, PTI and PPP see an opportunity to damage credibility as well as prospects of a PML-N win in the 2018 elections. Imran Khan and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and many more have asked for resignation of Prime Minister after the JIT report. But ruling party seems in no mood to consider this option as it has announced in a strong statement to fight this battle out. Things would be clearer after SC will hold next hearing on Monday, but it is certain that Sharif family and ruling party is in troubled waters at the moment.
Things would be clearer after SC will hold next hearing, at the moment ruling party seems in troubled waters.
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