Pakpattan land scam: SC forms JIT after Nawaz agrees

Pakpattan land scam: SC forms JIT after Nawaz agrees

Islamabad (Staff Report): The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe allegations of the illegal allotment of about 1,800 kanal Waqf property attached to Pakpattan shrine to an individual, Dewan Ghulam Qutab, some 33 years ago.

Sharif, in the last hearing, had expressed his reservations over being probed by a JIT but his counsel informed the court that his client has agreed for the formation of a JIT. "The court can assign the investigation to whoever it deems appropriate," the counsel said.

At this, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) remarked that Nawaz Sharif "is taking the risk of JIT". He then constituted the body and appointed National Counterterrorism Authority chairman Mehr Khaliq Dad Lak, as the JIT head.

On Dec 4, a three-judge bench of the top court headed by CJP Nisar had summoned the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo to appear before the court to explain his position in the case.

As the hearing began, the chief justice asked about the whereabouts of Sharif, who then came to the rostrum.

"What is your opinion of your written stance on the matter?" the judge asked.

"This is a 32-year-old incident. I don't remember any such order being passed," Sharif replied.

Justice Nisar then asked Sharif if he would like to be briefed on the background of the case.

"To do justice is not just the job of the court," the Justice Nisar told Sharif. "People in your position should also provide justice."

Responding to the bench’s query pertaining to the investigation of the matter, the deposed prime minister requested the apex court to refer the matter to anyone except a Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

"My experience with JITs has not been good," Sharif informed the court.

"Mian sahab is afraid of joint investigation teams," the top judge remarked. "Mian sahab, we will make you the judge, you can decide for yourself. Decide within one week what must be done," he added.

"We wish to clear the reputation of a former two-time chief minister and three-time prime minister," the CJP said.

In 2015, former chief justice Nasirul Mulk had taken a suo motu notice over the illegal allotment of Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Masud Ganj Shakar’s shrine land in 1985 in violation of the LHC order.

Nawaz was the chief minister of Punjab province when the land was transferred.