Maryam Nawaz submits reply in Panama case, PM seeks indirect immunity
ISLAMABAD: In a latest development on Tuesday, Maryam Nawaz Sharif submitted her reply in the court today and reiterated that she was never dependent to father Nawaz Sharif after her marriage.
Chief Justice Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar formed the SC bench comprising Supreme Court judges –Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Ijaz Afzal, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan – to hear the infamous case.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sought indirect immunity under Article-248, as the larger bench of Supreme Court resumed hearing of the Panama case against the premier and his family members.
Prime Minister’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan resumed his arguments before the five-judge bench of the apex court led by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa.
“We are asking for a constitutional immunity under Article-248 besides Article-66,” said Makhdoom Ali Khan, who replaced Salman Aslam Butt in the high-profile case.
The premier’s counsel while making arguments explained that Article-248 grants immunity to the prime minister’s office and not PM as an individual.
Makhdoom Ali Khan also supported his arguments through Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi case by saying former prime minister and founder Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also sought immunity in the said case.
“In Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi Case, the prime minister never delivered a speech in the National Assembly,” said Justice Khosa.
PM’s counsel continued that Article-19 allows everyone to exercise his or her right of freedom of speech.
“Your case does not fall into the fold of Article-19,” Justice Khosa told Makhdoom Ali Khan and added, “Article-19 gives you freedom of speech, but you are not seeking that right, you are seeking immunity.”
“PM’s speech in the parliament can be used as evidence,” said the SC bench.
The hearing of the case was later adjourned until Wednesday (tomorrow).
‘Nation knows that PM is lying’
Speaking to media outside the apex court, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said, PM’s counsel argued in the court today that Nawaz Sharif’s speech in NA should be ignored, why, because it was a lie.
He said Sharif’s gang sole aim after every hearing was to defend him in front of the media although, the entire nation and even the gang know, Nawaz Sharif was lying.
Earlier Khan said that “I am not taking sleeping pills these days. I am getting a good sleep due to the Panama case.”
Meanwhile, Chief Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed claimed at the beginning of the hearing today that if the prime minister revealed money trail in the case, he would take his reference back in Panama case.
“The day, Nawaz Sharif said the truth, it will the last day of his politics,” said Sheikh Rasheed.
PM has not sought immunity: PML-N
Leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Asif, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Talal Chaudhry, one-after-the-other furiously defended PM Sharif before the media and insisted that he has not sought any immunity for himself.
Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique terms Imran Khan’s politics as frivolous while Minister of Information Marriyum Aurangzeb advised the PTI chairman to apologise to the nation.
While Talal Chaudhry stressed that the former captain has repeatedly lost the series against the premier and so he must retire now.
The Panamagate Scandal
The leaked papers, comprising 11.5 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposes how some of the world’s most powerful people have secreted their money offshore, and also implicated Sharif’s sons Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz.
Three of Sharif’s four children are named in the Panama Papers – daughter Maryam, who has been tipped to be his political successor and sons Hasan and Hussain – with the records showing they owned London real estate through offshore companies administered by Mossack Fonseca.
The Panama Papers have whipped up a storm of controversy over offshore wealth, ensnaring political leaders, sports figures and underworld members across the globe in the scandal.