It was a first for a sitting PM to present himself to a superior body. The PM JIT appearance made history for the country.
Elaborate Security Arrangements for PM JIT Appearance
Law enforcement agencies in Islamabad made elaborate security arrangements before the first PM JIT appearance. They laid barbed wires and blocked all roads leading to the Federal Judicial Academy (FDA). The Law Enforcement Agencies had anti-aircraft guns installed on sensitive installations on buildings around the FDA. A massive presence of 2668 personnel was there to ensure the security of the Prime Minister.
Islamabad Traffic Police made elaborate arrangements to ensure a free flow of traffic via alternate routes. A separate place was designated for the media personnel and their vehicles.
PML (N) Leadership Visit Before the PM JIT Appearance
The senior leadership of PML (N) visited the area around FDA to take a look at the preparations. Many of the party leaders had installed banners showing solidarity with the Prime Minister. Many party leaders had their names on the banners with the Prime Minister. Besides party leadership, Mayor of Islamabad also visited the venue to review all arrangements including sanitation. Similarly, many roads with a poor condition leading up to the FDA got repaired.
Party Meeting Before PM JIT Appearance
The Prime Minister had a meeting with party leadership before the JIT appearance. Some of the members of the party who attended the meeting included Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, & Punjab’s CM Shahbaz Sharif. The Finance Minister gave a briefing of the documents that the Prime Minister needed to carry with him for the JIT.
PM JIT Appearance and Address Afterwards
PM Nawaz Sharif appeared before the JIT for the first time. CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and his elder son Hussain Nawaz accompanied the Prime Minister. He had a two-hour long session explaining his verdict on the matter against a high-profile Joint Investigation Team.
PM Nawaz Sharif said that he had presented his stance to the JIT. He marked the day as historic for the country. Furthermore, he stated that his family had also offered themselves for accountability.
The Prime Minister also said that only his family in Pakistan had offered itself for accountability. And his business has no link to the federal treasury. Taking a jibe at his rivals, he said that his opponents’ conspiracies against him had failed yet again.
PML (N) founder remained hopeful that his party would win the next generation elections. He was confident that his party would maintain a majority in the parliament and more people would support PML (N).
The Prime Minister also warned the opponents of a bigger JIT next year, a coveted reference to the next general elections. He said that there would be 200 million voters to decide who will be better for the country.
What Did JIT Ask PM Nawaz Sharif?
There are no confirmed reports to say with certainty what did the Joint Investigation Team ask the Prime Minister. However, here are some questions that insider sources revealed
- The different positions that the Prime Minister has taken relating to the London properties.
- PM’s relation to the Hudaybia Paper Mills and documents till the date he was an active part of its management.
- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s knowledge of the accounts that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had mentioned in his affidavit.
- Nawaz Sharif’s role in his sons’ businesses and if the PM provided any financial help to them.
- Income sources.
- The take of the PM on the sale of Gulf Steel and his statement on this matter within the parliament.
Qatari Prince’s Refusal to Visit Pakistan
Besides everything else, the Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber al-Thani has refused to visit Pakistan. He will not appear before the Joint Investigation Team. The prince has communicated his refusal not to stand before the probing team. Even PML (N)’s efforts to convince the Prince to record a video statement for the Joint Investigation Team have not become successful.
Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz’s Appearances before the JIT
The probing team is given two months by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to investigate the matter. The team has had called Prime Minister’s elder son Hussain Nawaz five times for the investigation. Hassan Nawaz, the younger son, has also appeared twice to answer the questions relating to the Panama Case investigation. The probing team has also called Captain (r) Safdar the son-in-law of the PM to appear on 24th June 2017.