ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) requested the Supreme Court on Wednesday to allow live media coverage of the Panama Papers leaks case’s proceedings so that the nation could know factual position.
The opposition party accuses the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of misleading people by providing wrong information regarding the case proceedings through the media.
The government also levels a similar allegation against the PTI that it does not present actual picture of the case proceedings in its press conferences.
There is no precedent in the country’s history that live coverage of any case being heard by the Supreme Court has ever been given by the media.
Talking to reporters outside the court, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer had sought immunity for his client in the case. But whenever PML-N leaders come before the media they claim that Mr Sharif presented himself for accountability and did not raise the issue of maintainability of the case.
“In this situation, I request the Supreme Court to allow live telecast of the case proceedings so that the nation may know what is going on in the court,” he said.
Minister claims PTI submitted forged documents to court
If live telecast of the case proceedings was allowed, he said, it would help people understand the points of view of the two sides.
Speaking after Wednesday’s proceeding of the case, PTI chairman Imran Khan said that the whole case revolved around the question whether Maryam Nawaz, daughter of the prime minister, was owner of the London property (in question) or not. “The case will be decided once it is proved whether Ms Nawaz is the owner of the London flats or she is only a trustee,” he added.
Mr Khan said that he did not want to discuss the Sharif family or any of its women before the media but the whole case revolved around the prime minister’s daughter and, therefore, he was compelled to comment on her role.
He said that the Federal Board of Revenue was trying to protect the prime minister through documents it was preparing since the case was taken up by the apex court.
The PTI chief asked if the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the BBC and a German newspaper had published false reports about the prime minister then why the PML-N did not sue them.
On the other hand, Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, at a press conference outside the court, claimed that the PTI had submitted forged documents to the court to prove that the London flats were owned by Ms Nawaz. “Three different documents have been submitted to the court with three different signatures of Ms Nawaz,” she added.
Interestingly four other federal ministers also attended Wednesday’s court proceeding and later talked to the media to criticise the PTI. They were: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman and Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.
Ms Aurangzeb said that the PTI misled the people by saying that it was getting more evidence and relevant documents against the Sharif family and showing the papers in its press conference. “Today the court observed that whatever documents the PTI is showing on the media every day, have already been presented before the court with its petition,” she said.
Daniyal Aziz, a member of the National Assembly, said that it had been proved that Imran Khan had established an offshore company in 1983. “Mr Khan will fall into the ditch he is digging for Nawaz Sharif,” he added.
Khawaja Asif asked Imran Khan how much Zakat money he had invested in France and Oman.
Reacting to the allegation that funds provided by independent power producers had been used by the PML-N to win the 2013 general elections, Mr Asif, who also holds the office of water and power minister, said that he could present details of payment of Rs480 million to the IPPs.
Published in Dawn January 26th, 2017