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‘Burden of proof’ now on PM, says Imran

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has claimed that the Supreme Court has put the “burden of proof” on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members in the ongoing Panama Papers leaks case.

“The judges have made it clear that now the burden of proof lies with them the PM and his family members,” he said while talking to reporters after the SC hearing of the case on Tuesday.

Accompanied by the party’s vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and secretary general Jahangir Tareen, the PTI chief said the judges had clearly told the government’s team of lawyers, headed by Salman Aslam Butt, that now it was up to them to respond to questions about the ownership of offshore companies and Mayfair apartments in London.

“Now they are required to come out clean. We have finished our work and are now waiting for the government’s reply,” he said. He claimed that the PTI had successfully proved before the court that the prime minister had lied before the nation as well as before the parliamentarians regarding the charges of money laundering. “Now the SC judges will question them. We will not ask anything from them,” he said.

Mr Khan expressed the hope that the bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali would itself decide the matter instead of forming a commission as it possessed enough material to take a decision and was fully “competent”.

He said the PTI itself wanted to release the nation from the eight-month ordeal it had been facing since the Panama Papers leaks.

He said now the government team would submit its reply and the PTI would also submit a small “rebuttal”, and then the case could be decided.

He said the prime minister in his addresses had claimed that the London flats had been purchased after selling their steel mills in Dubai and Jeddah. And then, he said, all of a sudden they produced a letter from a Qatari prince.

He alleged that the prime minister and his family members did not have answers to the questions being raised about their properties and companies as revealed by the Panama Papers leaks.

He said even the judges had raised questions about the money trail. He said the prime minister’s son Hassan Nawaz was a student in 1999 and in 2001 he was running huge businesses and had become owner of properties.

Besides this, he said, the PTI had proved before the SC that despite her marriage in 1992, Maryam Nawaz had been living as a dependant with her father, which was evident from the fact that she had not paid any tax or utility bill.

He said the prime minister’s daughter had stated in a television interview that she had been living with her father.

Moreover, Mr Khan said, it was strange that she had spent a huge Rs3.5 million only on her travel, whereas her husband, Member of National Assembly retired Capt Mo­hammed Safdar, had declared that he had no money.

The PTI chairman once again alleged that the Sharif family was involved in money laundering which had been proved from the fact that they had failed to show any money trail.

Mr Khan was of the opinion that Tuesday’s court proceedings had shown that the PTI lawyers had come fully prepared.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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