ISLAMABAD: The Panama Papers saga enters what may likely be its final round on Monday as the Supreme Court will hear responses of all the parties over the joint investigation team (JIT)’s report.
All eyes are fixed on the Supreme Court as the future course of the over-year long episode is likely to be determined by the honourable judges on Monday.
The report and its aftermath
The JIT, formed in light of the apex court’s April 20 judgment to probe the Sharif family’s money trail, submitted its 60-day investigation report to the court on July 10. The report highlighted the failure of the Sharif family to provide a money trail for its London apartments and claimed the prime minister and his children own assets beyond their known sources of income.
Following the report’s submission, the special bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, issued notices to the parties to submit their responses.
The petitioners include Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed and Jamaat-e-Isami head Sirajul Haq while the respondents include the prime minister, his family members, and several government officials and departments.
The bench is expected to begin proceedings at 9:30am on July 17.
Since the last hearing a week ago, following which the JIT report became public, the opposition parties stand near-unanimous in their demand for the prime minister to resign whereas the prime minister, doubting the report’s veracity, has vowed to stay in office ‘till the end’.
Sources said on Friday that the ruling family has prepared its response that it will submit in the court today. The response reportedly raises objections to repeated addition of several documents in the JIT report. It also objects to the ‘discriminatory behaviour of the probe team and use of derogatory words about some witnesses’.
After the July 10 hearing, Sheikh Rasheed said he would request the court on Monday to summon the prime minister for cross-examination. –Web Desk