Panamagate Case: Maryam Nawaz doesn’t own any offshore company, husband tells SC

ISLAMABAD: Terming Imran Khan’s allegations ‘baseless’, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar informed the Supreme Court that his wife, Maryam Nawaz does not own any offshore company.

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In his response submitted in the apex court, Capt (R) Safdar claimed that he mentioned complete details of his assets in the nomination papers for 2013 general elections. He said his wife regularly pays taxes and the details of assets were shown in her tax returns.

The PML-N lawmaker further stated that no reference has been forwarded to the National Assembly Speaker regarding his disqualification.

Raising question over ‘eligibility’ in the Supreme Court is violation of Article 225, he added.

Capt (r) Safdar argued: “Article 63 (2) of the Constitutions is limited to post-election disqualification matters relating to a Member of Parliament, which are set out in Article 63 (1) thereof. Allegations pertaining to pre-election qualifications of a Member of Parliament as provided for in Article 62 (1) of the Constitution, cannot be raised or made after holding of the election and notification of the result thereof.”

He said Imran’s ‘petition has no merit, being based on false and incorrect allegations and is liable to be dismissed.’

It may be mentioned here that the data from the Panama Papers released in April this year allegedly describe Maryam 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 International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (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’.

SC GIVES ULTIMATUM

Earlier on Thursday, the five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali gave an ultimatum to the premier’s three children Maryam, Hassan and Hussain to respond to the notices served regarding the investigation of Panama Leaks till Monday.

The Prime Minister, in his reply, had stated that he does not own any offshore entity. The reply stated that the Prime Minister regularly pays taxes as per the law and submits the details of assets with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali also announced that a single member bench comprising a sitting judge of the Supreme Court will be constituted for investigation into Panama Papers.

He said the commission will have all the powers of the apex court. The court will not drag proceedings of the case.

He made it clear that the court will not be bound to the terms of reference of the parties rather it will be for the bench to fix the terms of reference for the commission.

The government and opposition parties have been locked in dispute about the response to the Panama Papers since April. The two sides had failed to agree on the terms of reference for a judicial commission proposed by the government two days after the Panama Papers were released.

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