ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday expressed satisfaction over the proceedings of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case and said that contradictory statements of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the scam had been noticed by the judges.
The party has decided to file a separate petition in the apex court against the prime minister, his family and his personal staff for “leaking national secrets” to the media, a reference to the publication of a story in Dawn about a high-level security meeting.
“History is in the making. We are completely satisfied with today’s remarks given by honourable judges who also want early decision,” PTI chairman Imran Khan said at a press conference at his Banigala residence.
He said the apex court judges had spoken of contradictions in the prime minister’s two addresses to the nation and his speech in parliament in which he had tried to cover up his corruption exposed in the Panama Papers in April this year.
The three statements of the prime minister were presented before the Supreme Court by PTI’s counsel Hamid Khan on Thursday.
Mr Khan quoted the judges as saying: “There is a huge gap between transfer of money and purchase of Sharif family’s apartments in London. If the prime minister is telling lies he will face the consequences. There are contradictions in the PM’s statements.”
Responding to a question, the PTI chairman said the issue of the letter of a Qatar’s prince had not been discussed so far, but this matter would also be taken up by the apex court and then more questions would be asked from the prime minister.
He said it had been established that the prime minister’s frontman Saifur Rehman used his business connections with the Qatari royal family to rescue Mr Sharif. “We have a lot of information about it, but it depends on our lawyers that what material they prefer to produce before the court,” he added.
Mr Khan criticised the role of government ministers in the Panamagate controversy and said that since the case solely belonged to Mr Sharif and his family, the ministers should not come to the media everyday to defend Mr Sharif. “Ministers should not become the cronies of the prime minister,” he said.
Mr Khan said that instead of rescuing the Sharif family, federal ministers should concentrate on the affairs of the government.
He said the PTI was insisting in the court that after contradictory statements on the Panama leaks, Prime Minister Sharif was no more ‘Sadiq and Ameen’.
Answering a question about the PTI’s boycott of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s address to the joint sitting of parliament, Mr Khan said: “We did not boycott the Turkish president’s address, but Mr Sharif, as he has no right to rule anymore and we cannot endorse him as prime minister,” he said.
He said the PTI had held a detailed session of its leaders to decide whether the party should attend the joint sitting or not and finally leaders and workers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa resisted any consideration to attend the session. “PTI representatives hailing from KP were angry and we do not want to create a situation in the joint session by sending them there,” he added.
Talking about the Dawn story, PTI information secretary Naeemul Haq said his party had decided to move the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Sharif, his family members and his personal staff.
On the other hand, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Talal Chaudhry said the PTI had so far failed to provide any admissible evidence against the prime minister to prove that he had any role in establishing three offshore firms and purchasing properties in London.
“However, the prime minister and his children have provided all relevant evidence in the court that proved their innocence,” he added.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique told reporters outside the Supreme Court that the court had endorsed the point of view of the government that the PTI had so far failed to submit credible evidence against the Sharif family. He said Imran Khan was wasting the precious time of the court and put the entire nation in a state of uncertainty on frivolous grounds.