Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the joint investigation team (JIT) probing his family’s alleged corruption as was reported during the Panama Papers leaks, at the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) in Islamabad, on Thursday.
He earlier arrived at the JIT secretariat amid tight security and an extensive protocol.
The prime minister appeared comfortable and relaxed as he arrived at the JIT secretariat. He waved at party workers and responded to their slogans and chants before entering the building.
He was accompanied by his brother Shahbaz Sharif and one of his sons.
The number of PML-N workers and lawyers supporting the PM kept swelling near the JIT secretariat, in spite of the premier’s earlier directive to party leaders and supporters to not converge at the venue.
The prime minister’s personal secretary will be the only one allowed to enter the FJA building with him, according to DawnNews. However, the premier will face the JIT panel alone.
The JIT had prepared the questionnaire for the prime minister and his children last month. It questioned Hussain Nawaz, the PM’s elder son, on May 28. Hussain has made five appearances before the JIT so far. The investigation team has also grilled the PM’s younger son, Hassan.
According to the notice issued to the PM, he has been called as a witness, not as an accused party in the case.
However, sources privy to the development say the JIT may ask him how he and his children acquired properties and set up various businesses in different parts of the world.
Investigators may also ask the PM about the factual variations in speeches he delivered on different forums after the Panama Papers surfaced, including his address to the nation, his speech in the National Assembly and his statement before the Supreme Court.
Sources said investigators may put questions developed in the light of the statements of his cousin Tariq Shafi and other witnesses.
The JIT has also summoned Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in connection with the probe, while Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, the author of the Qatari letter, has reportedly offered investigators the opportunity to come to Qatar to record his statement.
The son-in-law of the prime minister retired Captain Mohammad Safdar has also been summoned by the JIT on June 25.