Without recording statement of Qatari Prince, JIT report to lose credibility: Saad Rafique

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ISLAMABAD, July 7 (APP): Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad

Rafique said on Friday that if the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of
the Panama Papers case does not record statement of the Qatari
Prince Hamad bin Jassim, its report will lose its credibility.
He was talking to media persons after attending the memorial
reference of Dr Muhammad Aslam Soofi here.
He categorically ruled out any confrontational steps from the
government in the aftermath of the JIT report and the Supreme Court
verdict.
He said that elections were due in 2018 and
Panama case trail was being used as a tool to damage the reputation
of the PML-N leadership.
He said that at a time when construction work of China
Pakistan Economic Corridor was in full swing, any uncertainty would
damage national interests.
He said that the Pakistan Muslim League leadership especially
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presented himself and his family for
accountability for the sake of supremacy of law and Constitution.
He said that the Prime Minister was advised by the legal
advisers to question the admissibility and maintainability of the
case and challenge the jurisdiction of Pakistani courts, but he did
not agree.
The entire nation knows that Nawaz Sharif himself wrote the
letter to the Supreme Court for constitution of commission on the
Panama papers case and held long consultations with opposition for
Terms of References (TORs) of the commission.
But the aim of the opposition was witch hunt of the Sharif
family, he added.
Saad Rafique said that all three petitioners of the Panama
case were recognized opponents of the PML-N who have been defeated
in elections time and again.
When the “Godfather” reference came, the legal advisers asked
the Prime Minister to file a reference in Supreme Judicial Council
but the government refrained from creating any ill-will.
“We respect all national institutions, but the Parliament and
the government are also national institutions and calling Godfather
those politicians who get vote of millions of people of Pakistan was
not suitable.”
He said the PML-N had reservations on inclusion of members of
intelligence agencies in the JIT but it kept silent in respect of
the superior judiciary.
Referring to the reported WhatsApp call he said they raised
the issue but no satisfactory reply came.
Similarly, he said the issue of leakage of Hussain Nawaz’s
picture arose during appearance before the JIT, and some people
tried to blame the government but the JIT admitted its mistake but
gave no details.
He said that the JIT also submitted in the court that it had
been taping the telephones of the Prime Minister House which was
cause of real concern as law of the land does not allow this.
Pakistan has a Constitution and no institution or person is
above them all, he said adding all institutions should remain in
their constitutional domain.
To a question, he said the JIT should have gone to Qatar to
record the statement of Qatari Prime Hamad bin Jassim, as he cannot
be treated as Pakistani citizen.
He said a story was published in the leading newspaper about
the control of the JIT record and so far no contradiction or
clarification has been given from any concerned party.
He said that it was right of the people of Pakistan and the
PML-N to know if the story was correct or not.
He said due to the actions and steps of the JIT,the PML-N
confidence in it was shaken.
About Imran Khan, Saad Rafiq said he would remain a loser as
he has adopted a path which may plunge the country in political
upheaval.
He said, “verdicts of the superior court should be implemented
irrespective of the fact whether we like them or not.”
PML-N would not take any step which may be termed against the
national institutions but the requirements of the neutrality should
be fulfilled, he added.