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Ansar Abbasi
June 16, 2017

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Inside story of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's JIT questioning

Inside story of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's JIT questioning

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday told the JIT that neither did he own nor did he hold any beneficial interest in the family’s Middle Eastern businesses, the London properties or the offshore companies nor was he ever involved in any transaction to acquire such businesses and properties.

Informed sources said that the premier told the JIT that he had not been director of any of the companies since 1985 as he had dedicated himself to full-time politics.

The sources informed that the interaction between the prime minister and the JIT members was free from any adverse happening. Contrary to the recent complaints about the behaviour of JIT members by some of the witnesses, who had recently appeared before the JIT, the Thursday’s encounter between the investigators and the prime minister was termed ‘respectful’.

When asked if there was any adverse attitude of any of the JIT members towards the prime minister, the source said, “No” and added that none of them was rude. “They were respectful and professional,” the source said. “Most of the questions were asked by Wajid Zia, the JIT head,” the source revealed, adding that Zia even otherwise had been decent to all those interviewed even in the past and including those who had complained of harassment, threats and disrespect.

Unlike the past, this high profile witness was also not taken to the same investigation room where other witnesses were questioned and Hussain Nawaz was shown in the leaked picture.

The prime minister, it is said, read out his statement which followed questions by the JIT. The JIT, the sources said, mainly focused on Dubai business of the Sharifs and asked questions on this particular issue for over one and a half hours. The prime minister reportedly told the JIT that they were focusing on the family business, which was set-up 44-45 years back when he was a student.

The prime minister told the JIT that by focusing on the family business, that too decades old, they were wasting their own as well as the nation’s time. He told the JIT that such questions even could not be asked under the law of the land. The prime minster, the sources said, told the JIT that if they had any question that related to corruption, kickbacks and commissions during his rule, there he would be in a position to respond.

The sources said that in his written statement that the PM read before the JIT, all his assets were reflected in his income tax returns and wealth reconciliation statements. He said that he had been a shareholder or director in one or more companies established by his father but for the last three decades, he had not been a director in any of these companies.

The prime minister, the sources said, shared his tax documents with the JIT and insisted that he did not own anything other than those mentioned in his tax returns.

Regarding foreign businesses and properties, the prime minister said that he had neither owned nor held any beneficial interest in Gulf Steel Mills, Al Azizia Steel, Flagship Investments Limited, Hill Metals or Park Lane, London apartments or any other foreign company including Nielson and Nescoll. He added that he was not involved in any transaction by virtue of which the aforementioned companies or apartments were acquired by their respective owners.

The sources said that the JIT was told by the prime minister that he had been actively involved in politics since 1981.

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