ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s terms of reference (ToR) submitted to the Supreme Court on Thursday mainly focused on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his children against whom the party sought an investigation through the proposed judicial commission on the Panama Papers leaks.
A five-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, is seized with a set of petitions seeking the prime minister’s disqualification for allegedly making investment in offshore companies. At a previous hearing, the court had asked the parties to submit their respective terms of reference.
Referring to four flats in Park Lane, UK, the PTI requested the Supreme Court to investigate when Messrs Nescoll Limited and Messrs Nielson Enterprises Ltd, British Virgin Island, were set up and who were the original recorded beneficial owners of these companies.
The PTI ToR asked when Maryam Nawaz, daughter of the prime minister, become beneficial owner of these two companies and at what price Flat No 17 was purchased on June 1, 1993, Flat 16 and 16-A in July 31, 1995, and Flat No 17-A on July 23, 1996, how was the amount transferred out of Pakistan or from any other country and what was the source of this foreign exchange. It also wanted to know about the amount of income tax paid by Nawaz Sharif from tax year 1981-82 till July 23, 1996.
Prima facie, the ToR said, the four flats in London had been acquired between June 1993 and July 1996, and, therefore, whether the prime minister made a false statement on the floor of the National Assembly on May 5 this year and whether the statement that Azizia Steel Mills had been sold in June 2005 for $17 million, sources from which the London flats were purchased on a false statement. And by making alleged false statement, whether the prime minister was not truthful, honest, Sadiq and thus liable to be disqualified from the National Assembly, the ToR asked.
On the Gulf Steel Mills in Dubai, the PTI recalled that the prime minister in his speech in the National Assembly had asserted that since Ittefaq Foundry had been nationalised in 1972, his father went to Dubai to set up a steel mill which was sold in April 1980 for $9m.
If the foreign exchange had not been transferred out of Pakistan, what was the source of funds for setting up the mill and to whom it was sold and what was the share of the prime minister from it. Was any wealth tax paid on this amount?
Referring to the Azizia Steel Mills in Jeddah, the ToR asked about the shareholding of the prime minister in the mill which was allegedly sold in June 2005 for $17m. Whether the prime minister upon his return to Pakistan declared his share in any tax return, it wondered.
And whether the prime minister gifted this amount to his children and, if so, in what proportion, the ToR asked, adding that in his 2013 wealth tax statement, the prime minister was shown as dependant to whom an unspecified land worth Rs324,851,526 was transferred. Maryam Nawaz, as dependant, was also the beneficial owner of Nescol Limited and Nielson Enterprises Ltd as established from the Panama Papers leaks.
The ToR asked whether the remittance from Hussain Nawaz, son of the prime minister, of $1,914,054, 40,000 and Rs5,917,168 as asserted in the statement of assets and liabilities on June 30, 2013, could be treated as a gift when Hussain did not have a National Tax Number.
Whether the statement of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar admitting money laundering, opening fake/benami accounts in Citibank Lahore, Emirates Bank Lahore, Atlas Investment Bank Lahore, Al-Baraka Bank, Al-Tawfeeq Investment Bank, etc, would render him ineligible to be and/or remain a member of parliament, it asked.
The ToR also asked about the status of different references in the National Accountability Bureau and outstanding liabilities of the Sharif Group of Companies borrowed from 31 banks and DFIs. Was it not disputed that collaterals to loans from Al Towfeek Company and Mayfair flats were attached/charged for the payment of loans, it asked.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General office also submitted a one-page ToR stating that the commission would start inquiry at a place and on a date to be fixed by it and would submit its report to the apex court in accordance with its ToR.
In his ToR, Tariq Asad suggested that investigation be carried out simultaneously against all the persons identified as having offshore companies, but priority be given chronologically to complete the inquiry against the prime minister and his family.
Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid also submitted his ToR asking the number of properties bought or sold by the prime minister and his family between 1985 and 2016 and their sources of income.