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Five former senior judges refused Panama Leak Investigation: Nisar Ali

14 April, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday said the government had contacted former senior judges of the apex court, including former chief justices, to head the inquiry commission that will probe the Sharif family’s involvement in the offshore investments.

The minister read out five names of former Supreme Court justices – Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Tasadiq Jilani, Justice Amirul Mulk Mengal, Justice Sahir Ali and Justice Tanvir Ahmad Khan – all of whom, he said, had been contacted by the government to head the investigation related to Panama leak. “But all of these judges after taking some time to think over the matter, refused to lead the commission without giving any reasons,” he said.

“If the government was not interested in transparency, why would it go ahead and request these renowned judges to lead the investigation?” he asked. But, he lamented, these former judges are reluctant to become part of the probe due to the political scenario in the wake of the data leak.

Nisar criticised all opposition figures who, he said, were resorting to ‘cheap tactics’ to gain political mileage. “Inhumane criticism for political point scoring should be abandoned,” he said.

Nisar said that the prime minister had been suffering from heart problem for the past many years which exacerbated in the past two to three months. “He had taken time from doctors earlier as well, but he could not attend his appointments. Now he had, on my advice, agreed to go on a separate visit for medical treatment. Full-time bed rest has been advised and thus a stopover in Moscow instead of the direct flight,” he said, and added, “All of us [at the airport this morning] were in agreement that he should return as soon as doctors advised him to.”

“If the PM wanted an excuse to leave the country, he could have gone to attend the OIC conference in Turkey and gone to London from there,” he said. “On my advice, he scheduled a separate visit just for the medical treatment.”

The minister regretted that some politicians, educated and civilized people and intellectuals are indulging in conjectures and doing politics on health condition of the PM. He categorically rejected that the prime minister was visiting London to meet any political figure. He urged the opposition to refrain from point scoring on medical issues and said that the prime minister would return to Pakistan soon. He said that opposition parties must not target government under the garb of Panama leaks. The government is ready to investigate the matter in consultation with the opposition parties, he said, adding that in case opposition wants an FIA-led probe, the government is ready for it too.

If keeping foreign property is unlawful for the prime minister’s family, it also applies to Imran Khan, Asif Zardari and all others, he said.Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz will respond themselves to allegations of offshore companies, he said, adding that government has nothing to do with this matter.

About PTI’s rally in Islamabad, the interior minister said that government was ready to allow the PTI to hold a rally anywhere in Islamabad other than Red Zone.

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