Pakistan

Govt institutions, PM house refute JIT allegations of delaying Panamagate probe

ISLAMABAD: A number of state institutions on Friday have rejected allegations levelled by the Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of impeding its probe against money trail and offshore properties of Sharif family by submitting their reply in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, ARY News reported.

Attorney General (AG) Ashtar Ausaf Ali submitted the para-wise replies of all concerned state institutions and ministries in the top court.

Earlier this week, the JIT had informed the three-member special bench of the apex court that if hurdles prevailed, it would be difficult to conclude the probe within the 60-day time frame. The probing team apprised the bench – headed by Ejaz Afzal Khan – that some governmental departments were reluctant to share relevant records with the JIT besides tempering some of the records.

The JIT, in a report to the top court’s special implementation bench, had accused the Prime Minister (PM) House, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministry of Law, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of impeding the investigation, pressuring witnesses and threatening JIT members.

However, the state organizations along with the PM House in their replies have refuted all allegations. The PM House has also expressed concerns on recording PM House’s phones, as the reply stated it apparently seemed from the JIT report that the probing team is tapping the telephonic conversation of the Prime Minister House by terming it an illegal act.

The AG’s response underlined that a decision on the JIT’s allegations could not be taken without recording evidences or hearing the point of view of all those involved. The reply also suggested that the charges of the JIT can be thoroughly examined after the 60-day investigation deadline after submission of JIT’s report to the Supreme Court.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) – in its reply – has contended that there was no malafide intention in sending a show-cause notice to its JIT member, Naeem Mangi, as 77 other NAB officers were also sent show-cause notices in light of Supreme Court orders. It further stated that these notices were sent before the formation of Panamagate JIT.

Subsequently, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has also declined all charges levelled against it in the JIT report by adopting a stance that it has sent all documents which were asked for.

The Law Ministry and Intelligence Bureau (IB) have also rejected the JIT accusations of delaying the probe and affirmed cooperation with the JIT.

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