Islamabad July 3 (TNS): Soon after appearing before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Sharif family in the Panama Papers case on Monday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar turned his guns at PTI chief Imran Khan, accusing him of immorality, debauchery, gambling, marrying Jemima Goldsmith illegally and solemnizing Nikkah later, having illegitimate children and illegal assets beyond his source means of income.
“The hate and love affair between me and Imran Khan has been going on for the last many years. Imran used to visit my office when I was the president of Lahore Chamber of Commerce. He used to wait outside my office with my children before asking for donations, I used to give him donations but I stopped him giving donations in 2018 when it transpired he (Imran) was involved in gambling,” Dar said adding that he had already sent a Rs5 billion defamation notice to Imran but he is conveying to him through his counsel to walk slowly.
Dar said that the reference against the Sharif brothers by the Pervez Musharraf government was malafide and concocted. “I had signed the affidavit under duress. It was taken under pressure. There is a Hadith that telling a lie in trouble is fair to ward off the suffering,” he said.
“The California court’s verdict is a stamp against Imran Khan,” he said about the 1997 court verdict against the PTI chief. On August 13, 1997, a Los Angeles court ruled that cricket-hero-turned-politician Imran Khan was the legal father of a four-year-old illegitimate southern California girl.
“Imran Khan is the father of the child,” superior court commissioner Anthony Jones said on August 13, after a brief hearing.
Khan, who had refused to co-operate by taking a blood test for the genetic determination of paternity, did not show up for the proceedings. His attorneys also failed to appear, so a default judgment was entered.
“I request the Supreme Court to direct the JIT to send a questionnaire to Maryam Nawaz instead of summoning her in person,” Dar said adding that he would have opposed if Imran’s sisters Aleema and Aleena whose names as directors of Niazi Services Company existed, were summoned by any probe body.
“Imran Khan should tell on whose instigation he is playing with the nation. Imran Khan is such a coward person that he hides his actual assets and evading courts and other forums to prove his innocence,” he said. “There cannot be two laws: one for the prime minister and the other for the judges,” he said in a reference to the son of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Media reports had suggested that Arsalan had received between Rs300 and Rs400 million from a real estate tycoon, Bahria Town’s chief Malik Riaz, to influence judicial proceedings when his father was the chief justice.
Dar said that the JIT was nothing but a conspiracy against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government. “Nawaz Sharif being dragged and his private business is being investigated,” Dar said.
“This drama should end now. The country was bankrupt when they came to power and it is now one of the most emerging economies in the world. Pakistan will enter in the list of the largest economies within 12 years,” he said.
Meanwhile, PTI leader Shafqat Mehmood while addressing a press conference said that Nawaz Sharif was facing accountability for the first time. He said that Dar’s affidavit was the main proof of the money trail that led to the purchase of property by the Sharif family abroad. PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry demanded that Dar took back his statement and present himself as a culprit in the Panama Papers case.