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PTI, PML-N trade barbs ahead of Panamagate case hearing

ISLAMABAD: A day before the hearing of the Panamagate case is scheduled to resume in the Supreme Court, the federal government and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday accused each other of wrongdoing, money laundering and establishing offshore companies. The government accused PTI chairman Imran Khan of submitting what it called a contradictory statement before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding his properties in London and in Banigala, Islamabad.

The government claimed that the PTI chief’s statement contradicted his earlier statements in parliament and in a press conference and a general power of attorney of his ex-wife Jemima Khan.

On the other hand, PTI’s spokesman on the Panama leaks, Fawad Chaudhry, said his party had proved in the apex court that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had submitted false statements before the court as his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, owned three offshore companies.
Gearing up

Mr Khan held a meeting with his party’s legal team to prepare for Tuesday’s proceedings. The party claimed to have received new evidence against the prime minister which it said would be presented before the court.

Meanwhile, in a joint press conference at Press Information Department (PID), ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders — Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and MNA Daniyal Aziz — tried to prove through video clips and documents that Mr Khan had submitted a contradictory statement to the ECP.

Mr Aziz showed Mr Khan’s statement submitted in connection with his disqualification reference in the ECP regarding a sales transaction of his London flat and the Banigala property which said: “As the sale transaction of the London apartment was not complete within the timeframe envisaged by Mr Khan [answering respondent] and the purchase of the Bani Gala land was potentially in jeopardy, his then wife, Jemima, agreed to lend and provide funds to enable Mr Khan to pay the instalments for Bani Gala within the period agreed in the agreement to sell. This short-term loan arrangement (between the husband and wife) was implemented with the understanding that Ms Khan would be repaid in the United Kingdom upon completion of the sale of the London apartment from the sale proceed thereof.”

Mr Aziz also presented the general power of attorney of Ms Khan in which she said in 2004 that she had never given any loan to Imran Khan for purchasing 300 kanals of property in Banigala.

The document dated Dec 3, 2014 said: “The land measuring 300 kanals and 5 marlas in Khasra no. 1939 situated in the revenue estate of Village Mohra Noor Tehsil and District Islamabad was purchased by Mr Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, son of Ikramullah Khan Niazi.”

It further said: “The land was transferred in my name through mutation no. 7056, 7225, 7361 and 7538 by my ex-husband, Mr Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, as ‘Benami Transaction’. After the separation/divorce between me and Imran Khan, I do not intend to keep the land with me.”

According to Mr Aziz, earlier in his asset declaration, Imran Khan had claimed that he got 300 kanals of land as a gift from his ex-wife while she claimed that Mr Khan had purchased it.

During the press conference, a video clip from a private TV channel was shown in which Mr Khan on the floor of the National Assembly said that whatever money he had received through the sale of the flat in London he had brought to Pakistan.

In the second video clip, the PTI chief was shown addressing a press conference in which he claimed that he had given his ex-wife the entire money — whatever he had received through the sale of the said flat in London.

The PML-N leader claimed that the government had documentary evidence that “Prince” Rashid Ali Khan, a friend of Imran Khan’s, had paid for the latter’s Banigala property.

He also accused PTI secretary general Jehangir Khan Tareen of insider trading by using the name of two of his servants — a cook, Haji Khan, and a gardener, Allah Yar, when Mr Tareen was serving as a minister during Gen Pervez Musharraf’s regime.

According to Mr Aziz, Mr Tareen had confessed to the crime and paid over Rs72 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in 2007 which he gained from the controversial transactions.

Responding to a query regarding the four demands of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhuto-Zardari, Mr Aziz said: “The government has already accepted three of his demands and offered to talk about and settle the fourth one.”

Soon after the PML-N leaders’ press conference, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry also talked to the media. He said that his party had proved the prime minister and his family’s involvement in money laundering and offshore firms.

He said the PTI had credible evidence that Maryam Nawaz was the owner of three offshore companies and one of them had received a heavy loan from a foreign bank.

The PTI spokesman said the government had illegally altered a trust deed of the prime minister. He added that now the PM’s legal team was looking for a way out.

Mr Chaudhry said the ruling party leaders were levelling false allegations against the PTI’s top leadership, including Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen, through forged documents. “Both Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen have not held any public office,” he claimed.

Responding to a question regarding proceedings of the case in the SC, the party spokesman said that he hoped the case would be decided before Dec 30 — the day the incumbent Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali is set to retire.

courtesy: dawn news

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