Panamagate: Pak PM’s Daughter Maryam Appears Before Probe Team
Maryam’s name was in the Panama Papers with her brothers as the beneficial owners of offshore companies.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Sharif on Wednesday appeared for the first time before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the high- profile Panamagate graft case against her family.
Maryam, 43, was accompanied by her husband Muhammad Safdar, brothers Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb and Prime Minister's special assistant Asif Kirmani.
Maryam, who is carefully being groomed by her father as political heir, arrived at the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) in the capital for questioning by the six-member JIT set up in May by the Supreme Court. The JIT is expected to complete the report by 10 July.
She is the eighth member of the Sharif family to be summoned by the JIT.
The JIT has repeatedly questioned her brothers Hussain and Hassan, while it has also recorded the statements of Prime Minister Sharif, his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the prime minister's son-in-law Mohammad Safdar, the Prime Minister's cousin Tariq Shafi, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar — the father-in-law of the Prime Minister's younger daughter.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) top leadership has criticised the JIT's decision to summon the daughter of the Prime Minister.
Sharif's brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif strongly objected to Maryam's summoning.
There is no moral justification of the JIT decision to summon the daughter of the Prime Minister. We accept the JIT’s privilege to summon any person as witness but our civilisation teaches us to respect women.Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif
Maryam Defends Her Father Nawaz Sharif on Twitter
Maryam, in a series of tweets on Tuesday, showed defiance and resolutely defended her father.
Maryam's name was in the Panama Papers with her brothers as the beneficial owners of the offshore companies — Neilsen Enterprises and Nescoll Ltd — which owned the four Park Lane apartments. These properties are at the centre of the controversy.
Sharif's critics and opposition parties allege that the property was bought through ill-gotten money in 1990s when Sharif served twice as Prime Minister.
Sharif has rejected the allegations and said that the properties were bought with the money invested by his late father in the Gulf states.
It has been testified by Qatari prince Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, who in two letters written to Supreme Court revealed that late Muhammad Sharif, father of Nawaz Sharif, had invested 12 million dirham in the real estate business of the royal family.
He said the investment with profits was later handed over to Sharif's family.
There are reports that two members of the JIT went to Qatar on Tuesday to record the statement of the Qatari royal.
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