Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court to probe into the Panama Papers case. The Prime Minister’s appearance before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was heralded as a historic day for Pakistan by the ruling party. Many in the ruling party also lauded the Prime Minister for appearing before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
Commenting on the matter Defense Minister Khawaja Asif in a tweet posted on microblogging website Twitter said ‘3 hour Prime Minister faced JIT, something unknown to our culture where power gives immunity, Nawaz Sharif giving new meaning to governance, setting new standards.’
Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator Sherry Rehman also used twitter to comment on the Prime Minister’s appearance but she was of a different view than the Defense Minister, Sherry wrote ‘History is definitely being made. Any other Prime Minister would have resigned before investigation from a JIT of officials reporting to his juniors. ‘
Asad Umar leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party that has pushed for an investigation into the Panama Leaks since day one commented on the JIT appearance by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by saying ‘He keeps saying mein ney ehtisab key liye pesh kar dia (he keeps saying that I presented myself for accountability). No you did not; investigation is being done according to law not due to your generosity.’
The Prime Minister appearing before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has indeed set a good precedent but this is not something that is ‘favor’ to the nation or the country. Obeying the law is the basic responsibility of every citizen of the country. But the ruling party’s point of view that such accountability is ‘historic’ probably has its roots in the fact that a certain former President (Pervez Musharraf) facing trial under article 6 managed to go abroad instead of facing the courts.
After his JIT appearance the Prime Minister while talking to the media also hinted that some ‘invisible’ forces are behind this process of ‘accountability’, who these invisible forces are and how an international leak (Panama Papers) can be linked to invisible forces and how asking for proof of ownership of properties owned by the Sharif family can be a work of invisible forces is something that only the Prime Minister can tell.
It must be added that the accountability of the ruling family has indeed set an example that no one is above the law. And all powerful figures must be held accountable.
No one is and no one should be above the law.