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Five ex-SC judges refused to lead Panama leaks inquiry: Nisar

Updated Apr 19, 2017 07:52pm

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday said the government had contacted senior former judges of the apex court, including former chief justices, to head the inquiry commission that will probe the Sharif family post-Panama data leaks.

Nisar read out five names of former Supreme Court justices – Justice Nasirul Mulk, Justice Tasadiq Jilani, Justice Amirul Mulk Mengal, Justice Sahir Ali and Justice Tanvir Ahmad Khan – all of whom he said had been contacted by the government to head the Panama Papers probe.

“But all of these judges after taking the time to think over the matter, refused to lead the commission without giving any reasons,” said the interior minister.

“If the government was not interested in transparency, why would we go ahead and request these renowned judges to lead the investigation?”

But, he lamented, the political scenario in the wake of the data leaks means these former judges are reluctant to become part of the probe.

Nisar heavily criticised all opposition figures who he said were resorting to “cheap tactics” to gain political mileage.

“Inhumane criticism for political point scoring should be abandoned.”

'Doubting Thomases'

Nisar revealed that the Prime Minister has been facing heart problems for the past many years which have exacerbated in the past two to three months.

"He had taken time from doctors earlier as well, but he could not attend his appointments. The PM had on my advice agreed to go on a separate visit for medical treatment, and he agreed to that. Full-time bed rest was advised and thus the stopover in Moscow instead of a direct flight."

"All of us [at the airport this morning] were in agreement that he should return as soon as doctors advised."

"If the PM wanted an excuse to leave the country, he could have gone to attend the OIC conference in Turkey and gone to London from there," said Nisar.

"On my advice, he scheduled a separate visit just for medical treatment."

Panama Papers

The data leak has revealed financial wheelings and dealings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family, among dozens of others, including world leaders.

The data from the Panama Papers, available on the website of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — one of around 100 news organisations and 300 journalists that worked on mining the data simultaneously — also reveals the offshore holdings of members of Prime Minister Sharif’s family.

According to documents available on the ICIJ website, the PM’s children Mariam, Hasan and Hussain “were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies”.

Mariam is described as “the owner of British Virgin Islands-based firms Nielsen Enterprises Limited and Nescoll Limited, incorporated in 1994 and 1993”.

On one of the documents released by ICIJ, the address listed for Nielsen Enterprises is Saroor Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The document, dated June 2012, describes Mariam Safdar as the ‘beneficial owner’.

According to ICIJ, “Hussain and Mariam signed a document dated June 2007 that was part of a series of transactions in which Deutsche Bank Geneva lent up to $13.8 million to Nescoll, Nielsen and another company, with their London properties as collateral.”

Hasan Nawaz Sharif is described as “the sole director of Hangon Property Holdings Limited incorporated in the British Virgin Islands in February 2007, which acquired Liberia-based firm Cascon Holdings Establishment Limited for about $11.2 million in August 2007”.

But the papers are not necessarily evidence of wrongdoing. According to The Guardian, using offshore structures is entirely legal.

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Comments (76) Closed



Harmony-1© Apr 13, 2016 05:59pm

You can give any justifications and make all excuses you like but Panama Leaks have revealed all that the fact is our ruling class has all interests (homes, business, schooling, health treatment) abroad and yet they can rule over Pakistan. The question arises, can they ever have interest of the people of Pakistan at heart?

salman Apr 13, 2016 06:00pm

Nawaz Sharif must resign, if our nation needs to grow

Omar Apr 13, 2016 06:01pm

What is there to probe.It's almost as if we are forming a commission to verify that ice is cold!

dost mohammed Apr 13, 2016 06:05pm

So why not ask serving judges of the Supreme Court? Why does it have to be a retired judge?

Ahmed32 Apr 13, 2016 06:06pm

everyone is clearly asking for SERVING judges. Classic case of avoiding answers.

PAKISTAN ZINDABAD Apr 13, 2016 06:10pm

Being Pakistani people, we all know the reason,,, Mr Nisar !

Shazad Apr 13, 2016 06:12pm

I do not know what is the problem. Panama leaks shows that there are number of off-shore companies in the name of NS families. These companies hold flats in London. These companies and flats are with NS since 1992 or earlier. There is also statement that Kulsum Nawaz claimed these flats as belonging to her family. Regardless, it is obvious that source of money is corruption.

People are looking at NS, because he was PM of Pakistan. If a person in power does corruption and give the proceed to his sons than that does not mean that person can get away by saying that money is not with him and all belongs to his son. A person who ever held public office, if his sons or daughters are found possession of money with unknown sources, than the person and his family have to answer.

Khan Apr 13, 2016 06:13pm

The facts are known to everyone Choudhri Sahib!

SAHAR Apr 13, 2016 06:17pm

This means that 'not something but Every thing' is wrong in the bottom

Shehz Apr 13, 2016 06:19pm

Investigating means travelling to panama, speaking with Fonseca employees, etc. This is not the task of a judge, that is true. This is a tasks to be investigated by the Attorney General and his team and provide the proof to the state prosecutor or NAB. The judge hears all the arguments and delivers a judgement.

How can a Judge be expected to be the Jury and Executioner as well?

nac Paris Apr 13, 2016 06:20pm

No body in right senses will step forward to investigate the international issue having been made public by Panama Leaks. Only audit by international firm can give a clean finding.

naeem Apr 13, 2016 06:22pm

How sad... poor Nawaz Sharif wants to know the truth about his offshore companies but can not find anyone to lead an investigation against himself and his family. I would suggest him to write a letter to the serving CJ to investigate the matter

Shahid Apr 13, 2016 06:22pm

This is pathetic. As a minister responsible for security of the nation, if you have learnt irregularities by politicians, it is your duty and you are empowered to move the relevant state institutions towards bringing justice to them instead of alluding to their wrong doings in public forums and that also only on selective occasions of questionable convenience.

Syed Ali Apr 13, 2016 06:23pm

That's a very good indication,

M Jamal Apr 13, 2016 06:24pm

Sympathies to Hasan and Hussain that people are not believing that they become billionaires in 1993 at the age of 17 and 13 years Alhumdulillah.

Rahi Apr 13, 2016 06:28pm

These are just delaying tactis and waiting for some other issue to surface ...

Faizan Mansoor Apr 13, 2016 06:28pm

They are judges not investigators. How the Home Minister expects them to conduct the investigation.

khanm Apr 13, 2016 06:29pm

Five ex-SC judges refused to lead Panama leaks inquiry commission: Nisar... God knows maybe there are asked to refuse ... Most of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them.

Faizan Mansoor Apr 13, 2016 06:29pm

@salman Do we have an alternate?

Vaseem Siddiqi Apr 13, 2016 06:31pm

@dost mohammed probably he also has offshore interests. It is going to be difficult to find anyone in high office in Pakistan who is not a crook.

Umair Apr 13, 2016 06:31pm

sure! we believe you Mr. Nisar, you must have had asked them wholeheartedly! all the pun intended. i wonder when we will divert most of our time to the real issues faced by the people. I am not saying that honest, sincere and noncorrupt leaders are not important, yes! they are. but we cant focus all our energy on looking for the right guy. why cant we focus on the child who is dying of an avoidable death due to illnesses diarrhea, which is inturn caused by un-clean water and bad sanitary habits. why cant we focus on maternal mortality, every few mins a mom dies in child birth!! why cant we address our crumbling education system, mind you just because one holds a degree does not mean he or she is educated. we fail to produce problem solvers and analytical thinkers via this shameful system. why cant we talk about creating jobs, come up with solutions. everyone can run business what about the rest. our failed health care system !! but guess what all we talk about is political gossip!

Arif Apr 13, 2016 06:33pm

THANKS NAWAZ SHERIF FOR SERVING THE COUNTRY.

Last 25 years you are in Power but no hospital build where you can get treatment.

Imran Apr 13, 2016 06:34pm

Chaudhry Sahib, will you please stop insulting the intelligence of the Pakistani people. Enough already.

Muhammad Apr 13, 2016 06:36pm

Nothing will happen to Sharifs unless "powers" take notice and help Pakistanis get back their looted wealth.

Naeem Apr 13, 2016 06:41pm

NS has billions while millions are starving. How can he sleep at night.He likes large projects so it is easy to skim millions. He is not interested in education and health care as he cannot get a big cut.

TKhan Apr 13, 2016 06:44pm

"the political scenario in the wake of the data leaks means these former judges are reluctant to become part of the probe."

It is not what you suggest Ch. Nisar. It means that these judges strongly believe that there is nothing to investigate. Investigation is already done and it is just the matter of NS and family to appear before the court and testify under oath if these holdings are theirs. Even if all holdings are legitimate but one; that one ill gotten asset is reason enough for NS to resign and impeached.

muhammad ahmed khan Apr 13, 2016 06:50pm

Mark my words. They will get away with this... as they use...

ABDUL MUQTADIR Apr 13, 2016 06:51pm

Why ex Judges? Get it done by NAB or by in service Judges

Muhammed Ali UK Apr 13, 2016 07:00pm

Make more excuses Mr Nisar, the Titanic went down no matter what the captain said..so will your leader, slight indigestion problem and lets go to the UK for treatment...what about the poor that suffer under your rule? IK please when you are elected the 1st law that needs to be passed is that any one with a majority of their assets abroad will not be allowed to stand for election...

Waqas Apr 13, 2016 07:02pm

I'm just glad I left this country !

WASEEM ASHRAF Apr 13, 2016 07:03pm

@Faizan Mansoor no independent investigation is possible if NS or any oh his cronies are in power >

Khan -Pakistani , USA Apr 13, 2016 07:08pm

Because they know that nothing could be done against the powerful people in Pakistsn like Zardari , Shreifs , Chaudaries, Gillanis Maliks !

Shahid Apr 13, 2016 07:16pm

Why asking the retired judges, give it to the CJ of the supreme court

Muhammed Ali UK Apr 13, 2016 07:18pm

@Waqas Brother that might be the case, BUT we love the country and it breaks our hearts to see it being treated in such a manner..

Myth Apr 13, 2016 07:18pm

Dear Pakistanis,

If the Prime Minister has heart problem then he is medically unfit to rule the country. I am sure there be a law for this kind of situation, if not then any patient can rule the country for his/her benefit but the country is run for the people and not for personal self.

Thanks

Iqbal Khan Apr 13, 2016 07:26pm

If institutions would have been strong and trust worthy there would be no need to form any judicial commission or ask retired judges for enquiring Panama leaks. Solution is: make the institutions depoliticise

Malik USA Apr 13, 2016 07:31pm

Choudhry Saheb, Please do not understand that we are so Bhole that we are not understanding. The problem of my country is when the elite class who rule the country they have decided to support each other irrespective that the things are right or wrong. Everybody could understand that NS family did something. But being a minister or his followers have to support him. Did you believe that Ch. Nisar does not know any thing but has to support him

Crakheads Apr 13, 2016 07:40pm

@Harmony-1© never

Syed Gilani Apr 13, 2016 07:41pm

I dont understand what is there to investigate about? Facts are there. All we need is to determine how and when money went out and who was responsible. Hire international auditing firm and experience white crime firm and let them investigate. What it has to do with retired judges inquiry commission? Whom you are trying to befool? Stop these delaying tactics and waiting for some other incident to happen.

Skeptic Apr 13, 2016 07:41pm

Does anyone miss Musharraf now!?

Compared to what Pakistan has had for the past 8 years, he was a God send!

Observer Apr 13, 2016 07:44pm

The Prime Minister should resign. Full Stop. No questions asked.

Mudassar Khokhar Apr 13, 2016 07:45pm

Every respectable person will stay away from corrupt politicians. All 5 have done exactly that.

Malik USA Apr 13, 2016 07:50pm

@Skeptic I always miss you Sir. I salute you Sir and accept that we all could not give you that respect which you deserve. Always we tried to pull your leg. Time is passing and everyday will tell that his every actions were done in the interest of the country were right. Again I will say "I am very sorry Sir"

Khan -Pakistani , USA Apr 13, 2016 07:51pm

@Waqas Leaving Pakistan solved our problems but it increases Pakistan's problems as the talented people are leaving and corrupt and poor people are left !

Alam Apr 13, 2016 07:53pm

@M Jamal, it is that simple, they have got a magician father who turned sands into money.

MAlvi Apr 13, 2016 07:56pm

What is there to be investigated? Nawaz has to admit or deny the facts revealed by Panama Papers. I am sure the facts are true. Nawaz better admit. Then investigation can be made to find out where the money came from.

Mahmood Shah Apr 13, 2016 07:56pm

What is the guarantee that the “suspect” can get investigated in a just manner by someone appointed by him?

In addition to Nawaz and family, other Pakistanis in the papers need to be investigated also.

We need to have legal safeguards in the laws for the future.

Mahmood

Jawad Apr 13, 2016 07:57pm

@Skeptic I miss president Musharf and I pray he comeback and bring morals back.

CURIOUS MIND Apr 13, 2016 08:00pm

don't think Pakistanis are masoom anymore, they can see what lies beneath.

Changez_Khan Apr 13, 2016 08:06pm

Put Imran Khan, Quadri as lead persons for investigation and then see the quick results.

nwa Apr 13, 2016 08:07pm

PM please leave, what ever you will do it will never be same.

Changez_Khan Apr 13, 2016 08:09pm

PM Nawaz MUST resign and hold new elections.

arif Apr 13, 2016 08:13pm

As a PML-N supporter who has really felt deceived after disclosure of Panama leak, I demand transparency in all this. I am not gonna vote Nawaz, if he fails to show the money is in fact his own legit money. Right now, the panic in Sharif family shows otherwise. We all know that his trip to London is not related to his health,

Nadeem Apr 13, 2016 08:20pm

Stop presenting excuses and order FIA / NAB start investigation right away! This is what you did in case of Axact. What's the new science here that you can't understand??

khan Apr 13, 2016 08:21pm

“But all five of these judges after taking the time to think over the matter, refused to lead the commission without giving any reasons,” said the interior minister. Dear minister sahib, there is nothing to investigate, around 100 news organisations and 300 journalists that worked on mining the data simultaneously has done all what you are looking for. Just get over and let people of Pakistan start their new life.

Nadeem Apr 13, 2016 08:21pm

It's already proven Mr. PM has undeclared assets / money. The only thing that needs to be investigated is where that money came from and whether the taxes were paid. Dont try to fool the people by giving same speech every other day!

Tahir Chaudhry Apr 13, 2016 08:28pm

All the honorable Judges know that government will interfere in their work. So they have decided to stay away

Naseem Ahmad Apr 13, 2016 08:46pm

@Umair Umair to do all these things one needs money, which unfortunately these corrupt people had and still siphoning out of the country.

Naseem Ahmad Apr 13, 2016 08:47pm

@Muhammed Ali UK very well said.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Apr 13, 2016 08:48pm

What else could they do to save their skin?

The End is Near Apr 13, 2016 08:57pm

Its high time for PM to resign from his post gracefully.

kk Apr 13, 2016 08:58pm

If Pak supreme Court judges not responding to request why not to send request to International Court of Justice!

kk Apr 13, 2016 09:01pm

Why after so many years of Independence country has no good doctor to treat common public they have to go abroad for treatment?

Merchant Apr 13, 2016 09:07pm

This is because no judge wants to lose self respect by getting involved in this politically and ethically messy situation created by our greedy and corrupt politicians.

Ghani K Apr 13, 2016 09:06pm

Choudhry Nisar Sahib , if 5 retired SC judges refused, they clearly understand the extent of corruption and to the degree it has spread. One thing more, flight to UK from Pakistan is 6-7 hours, why MNS is having stopover in Moscow ? It is another ploy for which , I am sure soon information minister Pervez Rashid will come out with a explanation.

Imran ali Apr 13, 2016 09:12pm

What about Saifullah family...they have 37 offshore company

aga khan Apr 13, 2016 09:12pm

Mr. NISAR; True, it will be a conflict of interest, but you SHOULD take charge of the enquiry and probe.

M Jamal Apr 13, 2016 09:15pm

It is all Muk Muqa.Interior Minister duty is to not to sit on corruption files of politicians but to take action against them,otherwise,must resign immediately.

AuK Apr 13, 2016 09:18pm

Didn't you hear what the judges are saying - it is your job to investigate, not the judges'. But what is the chance that you will investigate yourself - zero!

BlueCollar Apr 13, 2016 09:20pm

Look at the past history, when under pressure , under scrutiny, all of sudden they have cardiac problem- Musharraf after summon from the court, straight went to hospital, Zardari during the memogate issue, made immediate departure for Dubai. Now Nawaz Sharif is rushing to London via Moscow- Nation should not be surprised.

Whatacountry Apr 13, 2016 09:23pm

We must know the reasons behind this refusal.

Zara Apr 13, 2016 09:55pm

Of course they don't want to head the inquiry. Do we really believe that it will be transparent. I would not put it past these corrupt people to threaten people behind closed doors. If that money is legit, then why did they feel the need to go through an off shore company? Couldn't they just go and buy their Park Lane apartment out in the open? The question is, will this money be returned to the people of Pakistan? For decades these corrupt people have been plundering the country without any thought for the others or for the future of their country. They make me feel sick to my stomach.

Shakil Ahmed Khan Apr 13, 2016 10:05pm

That means judges did not agree to give clean chit to Sharif!

Javed Apr 13, 2016 11:08pm

@PAKISTAN ZINDABAD you are right. Everyone, including Chaudry Nisar knows the reason, it is obvious.

Bold reply Apr 13, 2016 11:34pm

The matter is international in nature,many heads of states have resigned,accordingly NS should resign,and all others whose name is there must also resign.

Shah Apr 14, 2016 12:12am

IK you should stop being emotional do not go on solo flight , this is a dead nation they won't come out en mass as you presume they would. Keep the Dharna as a scare tactics and form a strong coalition of opposition to pressurize the Govt to form a proper investigation once that is done no need of forcing a resignation it will come automatically .