LONDON: PTI Information Secretary Naeem-ul-Haque has claimed that the PTI has finally found the hardcore evidence that links Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to the ownership of Mayfair flats backdated to 1992-93, but the name of the law firm, the lawyer’s name or the evidence itself was not disclosed.
As soon as the claim was flashed on the Pakistani television screens, a euphoric feeling erupted in the PTI camp after a hard long week which saw the PTI’s legal team facing humiliation for failing to present any credible evidence before the Supreme Court in the PanamaLeaks case and one judge declaring hundreds of pages submitted by the PTI as just “newspaper clippings” and excerpts from a book full of unsubstantiated allegations.
Haque told reporters Sunday evening in Manchester at a press conference, flanked by PTI’s UK leader Sahibzada Jahangir, that he had met a lawyer who dealt with the Mayfair flats in early 90s.
Haque said he was “in contact with some people here (in the UK), especially a lawyer”. He claimed that this lawyer had proofs that Sharifs owned Mayfair flats in early 90s and not from 2006 onwards as claimed by Hasan Nawaz Sharif through documents he had submitted to the Supreme Court last week.
“This lawyer in 1992-1993 prepared documents for the seller of Mayfair flats. He (the lawyer) has said that in 1992 Kulsoom Nawaz personally visited Mayfair flats. He (the lawyer) also told me that Haroon Pasha (then Nawaz Sharif’s General Manger) was at the forefront of all the efforts and was involved too. But I cannot comment any further until we get proper evidence about it.”
Haque was in Manchester on the weekend in relation to attend the wedding of businessman and PTI donor Aneel Musarrat’s sister. Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Sheikh Rasheed also attended the wedding along with Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor.
The press conference was held after Imran Khan, Sheikh Rasheed, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other PTI leaders came under criticism on the social media for attending the wedding and making pictures with Anil Kapoor at a time when the PTI’s lead counsel in PanamaLeaks case, Hamid Khan, had refused to plead the party’s case.
Some on the social media pointed out ironically that the PTI leaders were happy to party with Anil Kapoor but the PTI workers call others RAW agents and traitors for doing the same. As soon as the claim of finding the lawyer was flashed, PTI leaders started calling each other from Pakistan to the UK to get hold of the proofs but there was nothing to back up the claim.
For the PTI, it immediately turned out to be another case of making a claim without any foundation when its leaders started asking the name of the lawyer and name of the law firm that acted for the seller but no details were provided by PTI’s leaders in the UK.
A PTI source said it was a hasty announcement which has ‘shown us as desperate and lacking.’ “PTI should have spoken only if it had obtained any documentary proofs. Even if you believe for a second it’s true that there is a lawyer who acted for the seller than it only means that this lawyer acted for the seller’s lawyers. That means all this alleged lawyer would have done is acted for seller to sell flats to Nescoll & Nielsen. That is already established in the Supreme Court case. It leaves us with a sore eye. Imran Khan himself was happy when he heard that a lawyer has been found but he was disappointed when told that there is no evidence to back up the big claim.”
The PTI source said: “If a press conference was held to deflect criticism of attending the wedding while the party faced legal crisis in Pakistan then the exercise clearly backfired.”
A lawyer, familiar with the property laws in the UK, said any lawyer who releases the details of his clients to the media without seeking approval of the client will have his license cancelled and penalties imposed for breach of professional conduct.
“Lawyers don’t prepare papers because papers are already there; lawyers in the UK just arrange signing off and check nitty gritty so as to act in the best interest of their clients.”
Nawaz Sharif has submitted to the Supreme Court the details of his assets which include a letter by Qatari prince Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani stating that he had given money to the premier’s family for the purchase of flats in London.
The letter by the prince says Sharif in 1980 invested 12 million Dirhams in the Al Thani company belonging to the Qatari prince’s father.
“In the year 2006, the accounts in relation to the above investment were settled between Hussain Nawaz Sharif and Al Thani family, who then delivered the bearer shares of the companies…to a representative of Hussain Nawaz Sharif (Sharif’s son),” the letter read.
–Originally published in The News