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Panamagate: Imran wants SC to ignore two Qatari letters

Updated Feb 18, 2017 08:16am


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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court seized with the Panama Papers case, asking it to ignore the two Qatari letters produced by the Sharif family as evidence of their stance in the case.

In the letters dated Nov 5 and Dec 22, 2016, former Qatari prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabber Al-Thani had clarified the Sharifs’ investment and settlement of 12 million dirhams in 1980 in the real estate business of the Al-Thani family.

In the 24-page affidavit, the PTI leader termed the letters a wonderful example of reverse reconstruction, clearly concocted to cater to the issues before the Supreme Court. The letters, he argued, were simply ‘unbelievable’ and an alleged puerile attempt by a rich Qatari to come to the aid of a rich Pakistani.

Mr Khan aims to rebut the Qatari letters, the affidavits of Tariq Shafi — a cousin of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — and that of Abdul Rahman Mohammad Abdullah Kayed and Hussain Nawaz, and touch upon the antecedents and background of Shezi Nackvi, the non-executive director of Crescent Standard Investment Bank Ltd, purchase of London flats and alleged tax evasion by the prime minister.

The affidavit disputed the assertion that 12m dirham in cash was invested with the Qatari royal family and therefore, it said, no question of settlement with the Al-Thani family arises.

“No banking transaction has been placed on record by Sheikh Hamad or Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” said the affidavit filed through Advocate Naeem Bokhari, the counsel for Mr Khan.

Mr Shafi in his affidavit, submitted on Jan 20, claimed that he had deposited 12m dirham in cash with the Qatari rulers after the sale of Gulf Steel Mills in 1980.

Likewise, the February 2006 trust deed between the prime minister’s children — Maryam Safdar and Hussain Nawaz — did not, and could not have taken place and, was therefore, fake or otherwise fatally defective with no effect on the actual or beneficial ownership of the upscale four London flats.

Mr Khan argued that the Qatari letters reflected that the Al-Thani family was acting as a banker in respect of a non-existent investment. Curiously, he said, the worksheet presented before the court reflected only the drawdown on this claimed investment in relation to the transactions being summoned by the apex court.

“For 20 years there was no withdrawal from the alleged fake investment, but payment of $8m in 2000 to Al-Towfeeq Company for Investment Funds was shown without a corresponding bank transaction or remittance, similar to the cash receipts from Tariq Shafi in 1980,” the affidavit said.

It claimed that no money was available with Mr Shafi to act as per instructions of the late Mian Sharif, and the improvement made in his subsequent affidavit of January 2017 claiming that the cash was handed over to Fahad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani of Qatar in Dubai on his different visits was equally false.

Dubai’s Gulf Steel Mills was a financial disaster from the beginning until its end, the affidavit claimed. Besides, the Hudaibya Paper Mill’s audited financial statements of 2000 do not reflect the $8m purported payment as a final clearance of the Al-Towfeeq loan. Instead, the accounts show that the liability was simply substituted without identifying the person or entity which was the new creditor.

In 2001, Hussain Nawaz received $1.038m to cover his investment in London, i.e Flagship and other companies, Mr Khan said, adding that once again there was no banking transaction.

Surprisingly, the amounts for Azizia Steel Company were paid through cheques when the investment was in a brother Arab country, the PTI chief said, adding that the documents presented by the Sharif family showed a payment of $936,766 in 2004, also in cash because there was no bank transaction.

About the prime minister, the affidavit stated that he had failed to mention any investment in Qatar with the Al-Thani family’s real estate business when he addressed parliament or the nation on television and even in his concise statement of Nov 3, 2016, before the Supreme Court.

About the flats, it said the Sharifs had lived in London for many years where property could not be purchased, except through solicitors. The purchaser has to deposit the agreed purchase price in the bank account of his solicitor, who upon signing the final contract, transfers the amount to the bank account of the seller’s solicitor, who then deposits it in the account of the seller.

But till date no material whatsoever had been placed before the Supreme Court reflecting any banking transaction by Sheikh Hamad qua the four London flats purchased between 1993 and 1995 or by the prime minister or Hussain Nawaz, the affidavit said, adding that these apartments could not be possibly purchased without banking transactions.

Considering the non-reflection of rent claimed to have been paid by Hassan Nawaz through quarterly remittances from Pakistan in the alleged “newly constructed reverse engineered statement” by Sheikh Hamad, the flats were purchased at the relevant dates by the Sharif family through alleged money laundering and Maryam Nawaz was and is the beneficial owner of these flats, the affidavit claimed.

Likewise, it said, gifts amounting to Rs812m sent by Hussain Nawaz to the prime minister of which nearly Rs20m was gifted back to Hussain were income from other sources. Similarly, the cash gift of Rs51m by the prime minister to Maryam was not admissible under tax laws, the affidavit claimed.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2017


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Comments (43) Closed

PakCanuck Feb 18, 2017 08:44am

the biggest issue right facing Pakistanis now is terrorism. Imran should be in sehwan shareef talking about that

But, he is not

shahid Feb 18, 2017 08:53am

Imran sahib! Please let the honorable judges do their jobs. Please don't try to dictate anything from outside. What if the other party does the same, what would be your response?

Waqar w Feb 18, 2017 09:00am

What a mess? Totally disgraceful and pathetic!

zaidi, Iqbal hadi Feb 18, 2017 09:16am

I think SC must give a date to both the plaintiff and defendant to submit any documents, affidavits etc and after that date nothing should be accepted otherwise it is wide open and the case will be dragged on fir indefinite period in any case. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi, Kuwait

Farhan Feb 18, 2017 09:46am

I think the PTI legal team has given a nice narrative in this bitter political battle. The arguments are compelling.

Ahmed Feb 18, 2017 10:04am

@PakCanuck he was first to reach hayatabad medical complex when the vehicle of judges were targeted and by the way you should ask where is bilawal & zardari because there are leaders of the party that runs sindh province and they are no where to be seen

Malik Feb 18, 2017 10:13am

Imran Khan and PTI have every right to submit additional supporting evidence to assist the honorable Judges. The sharif family and its PMLN have factory producing documents every week.

kuku Feb 18, 2017 10:28am

@PakCanuck Judges should also in Sehwan and we all too... Pls for God sake don't ask for a crippled system. IK is doing his job very well by exposing those who have sponsored financial terrorism.

Irfan Feb 18, 2017 10:28am

@shahid The honorable courts and judges should honor the rights of this poor nation.

PANAMA Feb 18, 2017 10:39am

@PakCanuck Tell that to Zaradari and NS. People trusted with responsibility are to be held accountable.

Shaikh Feb 18, 2017 10:39am

Imran is the only hope for this nation, Bhuttos and Sharifs already looted this country, yet people saying bad against IK, who has at least done a lot more for this country than cumulatively the entire population

@rana Feb 18, 2017 11:13am

it is an issue of our nation that when some gruesome carnage occurs we tend to forget every other predicament this country is facing.Though, we will soon forget this emotional fervor and be back to our quo-tidien routine as nothing has happened . I don't think that the supremo of 2nd largest political party has not condemned these dastard acts. Anyhow,we should focus on every issue individually and at the same time holistically. If you really want to talk about Sewaan carnage, alright, go and talk the issue under the relevant thread. Otherwise the end product will be the same, muddling and obfuscating of situation.

Dr ANkiT Feb 18, 2017 11:14am

Well said imran but i M afraid it will be in vein since the investigative agencies will not go against government agenda

The end is near Feb 18, 2017 11:28am

IK is 100% right.

Humanity Feb 18, 2017 11:29am

Sound like a great letter!

SA Feb 18, 2017 11:30am

There is big difference between these two politicians. One worked hard all his life to grow business and paid millions in the form of taxes and serving the nation with loyalty and honesty. Brought this country from disastrous to respectable stage and still most popular.

Khan Feb 18, 2017 11:33am

Well, one can think that this sudden vibe of terrorism could be the old tactic to divert attension of the nation. Great job, well done Khan. It completely tells the truth.

Sarwar Feb 18, 2017 11:40am

@shahid Please you let judges do their job. IK has submitted affidavit to the SC and not to public. If the judges will feel that the affidavit is an outside interference in their work, they will hold IK to task. By asserting that the affidavit is in fact an outside dictation you are pre-judging the SC.

Osayed Rehman Feb 18, 2017 11:54am

@PakCanuck With corrupt leaders.. All you get is terrorism n misery!

Kashif Feb 18, 2017 12:03pm

Imran is right, Point is not that we are facing terrorism this time. we are in the state of war for a long time because facilitators are already on core positions and we need to identify them first. we need to stop their illegal financial resources from which they facilitates terrorism for their individual benefits. This Panama story should be concluded as soon as possible because there is a big line ahead. But from some point we need to start at least. Another facet of this current massacre stream could be reason to diverge the focus from panama thing which could be in the form of promulgating emergency which ultimately would adjourned Panama case for some months. They play with their pawns to accomplish their objectives. The thing is not who is right or wrong, the real aim is to to conclude with the integrity whatever we have started.

Gaf Feb 18, 2017 12:15pm

@PakCanuck Biggest issue is corruption, which in return facilitates terrorism. Corrupt money buys training, weapons, commission and rewards corrupt officials to help with hide them.

Gaf Feb 18, 2017 12:17pm

What about Maryam's acceptance of owning the flats in SC 2 days ago?

Muneer Feb 18, 2017 01:10pm

@PakCanuck .Terrorism and corruption are inter connected.Terrorists obtain money through corruption and are backed by politicians with vested interests.IK action will go a long way in reducing corruption which will also bring down terrorism by closing down their economic and political back up.

Tariq Haider Feb 18, 2017 01:15pm

The government is in talks to declare an emergency in Pakistan for the period of 1yr. The major drawback of implementation of such action will suspend Panamagate hearing. It seems the biggest beneficiary of the new waves of the blast is PML-N (Prime Money Laundering Network). Now we shall see a group of imbecile from PML-N asking the entire nation to unite against terrorism.They will come up with a narrative that the nation's primary threat is terrorism and not Panamagate.

Abdulla Hussain Feb 18, 2017 01:18pm

@PakCanuck: Corruption is the mother of all crimes. While terrorists can be dealt with guns, corruption needs scratching from the topmost corrupt persons, Imran Khan is on right track.

Abdulla Hussain Feb 18, 2017 01:20pm

@shahid: Imran Khan is not dictating anything, he is requesting the court to ignore what is not relevant in his opinion.

Gaf Feb 18, 2017 01:35pm

@Tariq Haider very worrying

Talha Feb 18, 2017 01:58pm

@PakCanuck Biggest issue in Pakistan right now is the moral bankruptcy of our ruling elite which has a trickle down effect. Had the ruling elite not been morally corrupt they would not have looted our wealth and instead would have spent it on education and security which would have drastically reduced terrorism. IK we want you continue to use law to fight the morally bankrupt rulers and expose them fully. IK please carry on!!

Imran Feb 18, 2017 02:20pm

PTI has no perspective and obvious inclination towards the extremists. They have been recently touting Panama as the cause of extremism!

Sid Feb 18, 2017 02:23pm

Why isn't the Qatari prince being cross examined? Or interviewed at the very least???

Kasamali Feb 18, 2017 02:51pm

@Sarwar You are right Sarwar. Judges are independent and are highly respectable ones. They should be free to arrive at a reasonable decision.

Mozaffar Ahmad Feb 18, 2017 02:54pm

Who is IK to dictate the SC to consider or ignore any document submitted to the judges? It tantamounts to interference in the job of the judges.

Kasamali Feb 18, 2017 03:01pm

@Tariq Haider x: This is just your imagination. The case will be finalized before March 10, and you will see that a short verdict from SC will be out before end of March. Besides this, if Naeem Bukhari does not cross examines the Qatari prince successfully, SC can not set asides those letters.It is very likely that Mr. Bukhari will not cross examine the prince, for that would spoil PTI's case considerably.

JKhan Feb 18, 2017 03:49pm

@shahid you are an uneducated. He has every right to speak when it concerns the country and a highly corrupt man.

Sameer Feb 18, 2017 06:32pm

3 months now...and nothing.

Jamil Feb 18, 2017 06:46pm

@PakCanuck These are two important but different issues that needs to be tackled simultaneously and therefore can't be ignored.

Jamil Feb 18, 2017 06:46pm

@shahid Off course the judges will decide the case and give their verdict, but IK is only submitting evidence on behalf of PTI to strengthen its case.

Ali Feb 18, 2017 10:40pm

Imran Khan should not ask the Supreme Court to ignore two Qatari letters, as they are proof of fraud. Those two letters were made to fit the crime by a Qatari prince, who is himself facing fraud charges. The Qatari government has disowned the letters totally. Those letters can now serve as proof of fraud committed. No prime minister or prince can be above the law.

Riazullah Baig Feb 18, 2017 10:45pm

@PakCanuck rampant corruption is the rootccause of all evils and without fixing it we cannot move forward.

Riazullah Baig Feb 18, 2017 10:56pm

@SA that honest and hardworking politician of yours earned mone in Pakistan paid all his taxes and then sent all that money in big sacks on camel backs to Qatar? ?

Riazullah Baig Feb 18, 2017 11:06pm

@Imran you are right when you say that the recent spat of terrorism and Indian shelling along LoC are the result of panama predicament for Sharif (someone is trying to bailout the Sharif) and of course corruption is the root cause of the terrorism.

Jamil Feb 18, 2017 11:43pm

@Kasamali You are portraying a hypothetical scenario, which suits your imagination. In reality things would be quite different and the courts' verdict will be according to law and the people of Pakistan will be the ultimate victors.

Xnain Feb 19, 2017 12:59am

Why can't he instead call in the Qatari Royalty for questioning and proving these letters to be geniunly wrong as he has been long claiming.