WASHINGTON, June 15 (APP): Several Pakistanis living in
the United States have hailed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
for appearing before the Joint Investigation Team, saying that it
showed the government’s respect for the judiciary and supremacy of law.
Talking to APP, Pakistani Americans also expressed their
dismay over attempts by some quarters which, instead of
appreciating the Prime Minister, were trying to mislead people by saying
that as he appeared before the JIT, he should resign.
“This is simply ridiculous. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should
rather get praise for his willingness to present himself for
scrutiny. He could have refused to appear by using his right
to seek immunity from such proceedings,” observed Annie Kameron,
a student counselor in public schools.
Asad ullah Chaudhry, President of Pakistan American
Congress, referring to various reports coming from
Pakistan, expressed surprise over allegations that the
government was “obstructing” JIT proceedings. “How can we say
that the government is obstructing the investigation when a
sitting prime minister is presenting himself for questioning,” he asked.
He also questioned those who were saying that as the
Prime Minister appeared before the JIT, he should resign.
Citing the examples in the United States, he said that
top government officials are issued subpoenas by lawmakers to
appear before committees and explain their position and they do that.
“By doing so, they show their respect for democracy and law and
are also praised for presenting themselves for accountability,”
said Ms. Kameron and added that recently even President Trump stated
that he was ready to appear before parliamentary committees.
Some said that while a property deal made decades ago is
being probed, cases of corruption at the provincial level should
also be looked into. “Every day, we read reports of
corruption and mismanagement at the provincial level, why no one
is taking note of that,” said a Pakistani American at a
restaurant in Virginia, who had come for Iftari with his family.
He said he would not like to give his name.
Fitzerald Lewis, an attorney, praised Prime Minister
for appearing before the JIT and said that he has set a new
precedent which should be hailed and not criticized. “In the
United States, top government officials appear
before parliamentary committee to respond to allegations against
them, but there are others who use their constitutional right to
refuse to answer any questions.”
“The very fact that Prime Minister Sharif appeared before
an inquiry committee and did not opt to seek immunity raises the
stature of a country, which is being maligned by its own politicians
to gain political mileage and settle personal score,” he said.
Rizwan Jaka, a political analyst, observed that as long as
JIT is holding the investigation, no one should be allowed to
make any comment and interfere in a process initiated by
the superior judiciary. ” I have seen reports in which a leader
of a political party is making comments about what Prime Minister
said at the JIT hearing. This should not be allowed, to me, this is obstruction of justice,” he added.