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Minister sees govt victory in Panamagate case

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Thursday that the government had virtually won the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) failed to prove its claim that Maryam Nawaz was a dependant of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Today’s proceedings of the case have proved that Maryam Nawaz is not a dependant of her father… and, therefore, there is nothing in the case any more,” she said while speaking at a joint press conference with other two other leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz — Daniyal Aziz and Privatisation Commission chairman Mohammad Zubair.

Ms Aurangzeb said that PTI chairman Imran Khan had claimed at a press conference on Thursday that it would be proved tomorrow that Maryam Nawaz was the sole beneficiary of the Sharif family’s property in London.

“If it will be proved tomorrow then why Imran Khan has been engaged in a propaganda campaign against the prime minister and his family for over a year,” she said. “Today’s proceedings have proved that Prime Minister Sharif has nothing to do with [offshore companies exposed in] the Pamana Papers and, thus, the case deserves to be disposed of.”

She said that the government’s legal team had presented documentary evidence, including trust deeds, which showed that Ms Nawaz was not a dependant of the prime minister.

The minister said that the PTI chief told the apex court on Wednesday that his party had no evidence against the prime minister and it was the job of the opposition to level accusations and proving them wrong was the duty of the government. “This shows that Imran Khan and his team have nothing to prove against the prime minister and his family in the Panamagate case.”

Answering a question about the SC’s orders against holding press conferences on the premises of the apex court, she said that she always gave due respect to the superior court of the country, and added that both the government and the PTI should abide by the court directives.

“We usually hold press conferences wherever Imran Khan does so and misleads the nation. The government is duty bound to tell the nation about the facts,” she insisted.

Following the court orders, she said, no leader of the ruling party had held a press conference on the premises of the court.

Ms Aurangzeb said that Imran Khan was afraid of the rising popularity of Nawaz Sharif and, therefore, he criticised the prime minister for cutting ribbons of new development schemes every day. “It is the prime minister’s fate to cut ribbons and Imran Khan’s to level allegations.”

Speaking on the occasion, Daniyal Aziz said that all e-mails recently submitted by the PTI in the court had been picked up from the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. “So these are not new e-mails as they were already in the Panama Papers.”

He alleged that Mr Khan and PTI secretary general Jehangir Khan Tarin had also established offshore companies and the latter had committed a fraud of Benami transaction in the name of his cook, for which he had paid a Rs15 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

Mr Aziz accused the PTI chief of changing the accountability law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, replacing four chief election commissioners in his party, removing head of the provincial Ehtesab Commission retired Lt Gen Hamid and launching an abortive ‘billion tree’ campaign.

courtesy : dawn news

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