Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been summoned by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating the high-profile Panamagate case on June 15 to question him about the scandal, the first sitting premier to appear before a team probing graft charges. JIT chief Wajid Zia, in a letter dated Saturday, asked the prime minister to appear before the six-member probe team at 11.00 am on June 15 with all documents relevant to the case. The summon was issued to Sharif after he returned from his Kazakhstan visit where he attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. Sharif, who is currently in Lahore, met with his close confidantes this morning to discuss the issue. After consulting with his aides, the prime minister has decided to honour the summons and appear before the JIT on Thursday, the Dawn reported.
The Joint Investigation Team, formed by the Supreme Court to probe the money trail of the property owned by Sharif family in London, had questioned Sharif’s sons – Hussain and Hasan – last month over the family’s alleged improper business dealings. His eldest son Hussain was questioned five times while Hasan, the younger son was summoned twice. The court last year took up the case and issued split decision regarding allegations that money laundered when Sharif was prime minister in 1990s was used to buy the property.
On May 5, the Supreme Court set up a high-level six- member JIT to probe Sharif and his sons’ alleged corruption in the Panama Papers case. The JIT is bound to complete the probe in 60 days unless it is granted additional time. It is for the first time that a sitting prime minister is appearing before a high-level probe team traditionally constituted to investigate high-profile criminal cases. It is not yet clear that Sharif will be questioned for once or he would be called again like his two sons.