It’s Shahbaz Sharif turn: JIT to focus on Hudaibya Paper Mills reference


Islamabad June 17 (TNS): Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday appeared before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case involving the Sharif family’s foreign holdings.

The younger Sharif is the fourth member of the Sharif family who is appearing before the JIT team that is probing the money trail that led to the purchase of property by the Sharif family in London.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his two sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz have already appeared before the JIT and recorded statements besides submitting records related to the London flats, Gulf Steel Mills, Hudaibya Paper Mills.

The JIT is likely to keep its focus on Hudaibya Paper Mills, which is stated to be the asset which was used as a cover the Sharif family to launder money abroad.

In 2000, the Pervez Musharraf government had prepared a money-laundering reference against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif on the basis of a statement recorded by Senator Ishaq Dar, whose handwritten statement, given before a magistrate back on April 25, 2000, had said that the Sharif brothers used the Hudaibya Paper Mills as cover for money laundering during the late 1990s.

The reference was shelved after the Sharif brothers went into exile in December 2000.

The confessional statement of Dar was recorded before a district magistrate in Lahore, who was brought to the court from a jail.

Shahbaz reached the Federal Judicial Academy with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, his son Hamza Shahbaz, MNA Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and other leaders. Only Shahbaz Sharif was allowed to enter the JIT investigation room while his son Hamza Shahbaz is reportedly waiting for his father in a separate room.