As the counsel to Sharif family, Khawaja Harris completed his arguments on review petition on Panama verdict on Thursday; Shahid Hamid – the counsel of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar – began presenting his arguments before the bench.
Hamid tried to distance his client from the Panama case by arguing that his client was not a member of the Sharif family, if his client’s son was married to one of the daughters of the Sharif family, it did not mean that his client was a member of the Sharif family.
He further argued that his client’s assets did not grow overnight but expanded over a course of 15 years. Moreover, his client has been paying taxes since 1981-82 and there was not a single incident when his tax documents were rejected.
“You want us to close our eyes to the fact that your client’s assets increased 91 times during this short period”, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa expressed his concerns over the arguments of Dar’s counsel related to his client’s dissociation with the Panama case.
Earlier, it was revealed about Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that he had not provided all of his wealth statements that added in his wealth statement in 2008/09 and an increase of 91 times in his assets was seen – from Rs 9.11 million to Rs 931.70 million.
Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, once more criticised the role of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in failing to probe the Panama scandal. On an argument of Dar’s counsel that NAB should have been given mandate to investigate the Panama scandal rather than the JIT, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed argued that “when there is an institutional failure, should the state fail with it”.
Moreover, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed also expressed his concerns over the media campaign saying, “There is viciousness on the media and your clients are a party to it”.
Meanwhile, the accountability court summoned Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to appear in person with regard to the reference filed against him by NAB for owning assets beyond his sources of income. Dar has been asked to appear on September 20 at 9am. On Thursday, NAB filed all the additional documents for the references against Dar.