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SC sought five answeres from Jahangir Tareen

27 July, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court bench hearing the disqualification case against Pakistan Jahangir Khan Tareen has sought answers to five questions from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader.

The court has asked Tareen’s counsel to submit answers as to when was the Jahangir Tareen’s trust formed; when was the offshore company formed; who’s the legal and beneficial owner of the company; for how much was the offshore company formed; and how many times did he give funds as gifts to his children from 2002-17? Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi has petitioned the apex court to disqualify Tareen and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The petition alleges that Tareen owns offshore companies in the name of his children, has shared gifts worth over Rs 1.6 billion among family members, and is involved in insider trading in the shares of United Sugar Mills Limited in 2005. The three-member bench is headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprises Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab. At the start of hearing, the bench inquired from Abbasi’s counsel why the case was worthy of being heard in the apex court. The counsel said the matter is of public interest. When asked what grounds he seeks to disqualify the lawmaker, the counsel replied to the bench that Tareen failed to declare his offshore companies; did not pay agri tax and committed insider trading. He added that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had also sent a notice to Tareen over insider trading.

Justice Arab said every member of parliament who is served a notice by the SECP cannot be disqualified just for being served the notice.

The chief justice remarked that an elected official cannot be disqualified on the basis of allegations and that the bench has to proceed carefully in such cases. The hearing was later adjourned till 11:30am Thursday (today). Speaking to the media outside the court, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said Abbasi will go to jail over his own case. He claimed that Abbasi lied in the court and submitted false documents, adding that his counsel does not even know what crime, if any, Tareen has committed. He said Abbasi claimed Tareen's company was named in the Panama Papers, which is not true. The PTI spokesperson wondered how Abbasi acquired a confidential SECP document, saying he will go to jail over this.

He also lashed out at the federal cabinet members, saying every other day their private employments abroad are being revealed. Speaking to the media, PML-N's Abbasi claimed the case was nearing its conclusion and will result in the disqualification of the PTI chairman. He said the banks whose receipts Imran Khan submitted in court had closed down. Abbasi reiterated his plans of holding a press conference on Sunday wherein he will disclose how the funds of the PTI and Shaukat Khanum hospital were misappropriated. PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz said the PTI has accepted in court that giving gifts to children and having benamidar owners is not illegal.

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