Sources say Sharif family annoyed with Wajid Zia for being witness in corruption reference against them
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government is all set to punish Wajid Zia—who was the head of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Panama Papers case—over the question of privilege raised by Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, it was learnt reliably.
Safdar has submitted an application with National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, raising a question of privileges. The NA speaker, while advising further necessary action, has forwarded the matter to NA Secretariat to take action against Wajid Zia. MNA Safdar, in his application to Ayaz Sadiq, raised the issue that the JIT head had levelled baseless allegations against him.
The four-point agenda of next meeting—copy available with Pakistan Today—of NA Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure & Privileges disclose that the question of privilege raised by former PM’s son-in-law will be the topmost agenda of the meeting, which is scheduled to be held on February 2, 2018, in the Parliament House.
“The question of privilege raised by MNA Muhammad Safdar regarding baseless allegations made by Wajid Zia, in-charge Joint Investigation Team (JIT), against the [honourbale] member,” said Agenda Item No.1 of NA Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure & Privileges.
Wajid Zia—a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director—headed the five-member JIT made on the Supreme Court’s orders to investigate the offshore properties of Nawaz Sharif. The JIT has earlier termed ousted PM Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Muhammad Safdar as “dishonest and deceitful.”
It is relevant to mention here that, reportedly, the JIT investigating Panama Papers case, in its report submitted to the Supreme Court, said that he (Safdar) was absolutely evasive, non-committal and speculative while recording his statement.
“He (Safdar) was untruthful, dishonest, deceitful and shifty on many accounts, displaying wanting conduct,” the JIT report states. “His emphasis was on propagating that he was highly upright, self-contained and an independent person, which was inconsistent with the facts brought out by him during the proceedings.”
Well-informed sources said that Sharif family is annoyed with Wajid Zia for collecting documentary evidence from London, with the help of a private firm, and also for being a witness in corruption reference against the Sharifs.
Because of this reason, they said, PML-N government is all out to punish Zia and started the proceeding with a question of privileges.
Moreover, Zia’s promotion to grade 22 from a high-level board meeting held in October and December 2017 has already allegedly been stopped by the incumbent government.
It is pertinent to mention here that 14 out of 20 members of NA Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure & Privileges, including chairman of the committee, belong to the ruling PML-N.
The NA committee is authorised to recommend suspension and strict punishment if it finds a violation of privileges, they added.
The sources also said that if Zia failed to appear before the NA Standing Committee on February 2, 2018, then summon to arrest him will be issued by the committee.
Later, after getting an order from the committee to take action against Zia, “NA speaker, as well as Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, will play their role to award him a punishment and suspension from the job at the FIA,” they added.
It is worth mentioning here that Supreme Court of Pakistan, while ordering complete security for the members and crew of JIT until further orders on July 10, 2017, has also declared that “any action against the JIT members will be made subject to the court’s approval”. The court has also ordered that the JIT members be provided with the job security as well.
“The families of the JIT members should be provided absolute security,” the apex court ordered the concerned authorities.