Political scenario after JIT report

Muhammad Arif

Pakistan political scenario is looking quite foggy after submission of JIT report in the Supreme Court on July 10 2017.
Uncertainty has emerged that would get clear within short span of time. However it looks strange that all circles including media are trying to dislodge Nawaz Sharif and his family from all public positions. Herding trend that unfortunately is the outlook of overall Pakistan has always made its future more complicated. 
Though it is clear that the panel that has investigated corruption allegations against Nawaz Saharif family recommended the opening of a new case after finding disparities between their sources of income and actual wealth but this is not all as in Pakistan conspiracies have some other ends as well.
After receiving the JIT's report, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court ordered the opening of a criminal case against Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan chairman Zafar Hijazi, who had been accused by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of tampering records to favor of Sharif's family. Hijazi has now gone to the court and has been granted transit interim bail. The bench also ordered a contempt of court notice to be issued to the Jang Group, a leading media house, for a story published in Jang and The News daily that speculated on the findings of the JIT. The paper has submitted its apology to the court.
On July 17 is the next hearing of the case.
The report also alleges that there was "irregular movement of huge amounts in shape of loans and gifts" from companies based in Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates to Sharif's family and Pakistan-based companies.
The JIT, which had investigated the money trail behind the purchase of several flats in London owned by Sharif's children, was headed by Federal Investigation Agency additional director general Wajid Zia. It also included representatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and State Bank.
The JIT questioned seven members of the Sharif family, including the Prime Minister. His elder son Hussain appeared before the panel six times while younger son Hassan appeared thrice. Others who were questioned were Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Muhammad Safdar Awan, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who is related to the Sharif family through marriage.
This is not the first time Sharif has faced such accusations. During his first term as Premier, then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan had dismissed Sharif in 1993 after accusing him of corruption and of "unleashing a reign of terror" against his political foes.
The leaders of the ruling Pakistan terms the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report worthless trash that fulfilled Imran agenda and announced to challenge it in Supreme Court. Most probably they would file a petition on July 17, 2017.
Opposition parties including JI, PTI, PPP, MQM-P, PSP all have called for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation after the JIT's stated that the Premier and his children could not justify their wealth and assets with their declared sources of income.
This reminds one about four Prime Ministers who emerged as popular. These are: Liauqat Ali Khan, Z.A Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif who is presently facing Panamagate investigations by Supreme Court of Pakistan.
All these PM have severe charges against them like diluting Muslim League as a party, rigging elections and killing labourers, mishandling government on corruption charges and now allegedly making huge money through illegal way and through money laundering.
Everybody from A to Z is stressing that Nawaz Sharif should resign without looking into other aspects that involve security of our country. On this some journalists say that after departure of Nawaz Sharif security would be more strengthened. Even some say that India is afraid that after Nawaz Sharif they would lose Kashmir. This is how we are looking for the security of our country which is surrounded on all its borders by enemies except China and within by extremist groups. At this point all Pakistanis have to get together in spite of their personal or political differences by supporting the establishment to act independently.
Everybody remembers that The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) made 11.5 million secret documents, to be known as the Panama Papers, available to public on 3 April 2016. No doubt some heads of State resigned after this, like in Iceland, like in UK but we should remember that these countries have democracy in real terms whereas in Pakistan we are still trying to find democracy. It has never come and whenever some public figure starts gaining some strength, he or she was overthrown or shot dead. 
The documents, sourced from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, included details of eight offshore companies with links to the family of Nawaz Sharif, the incumbent Prime Minister of Pakistan, and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, the incumbent Chief Minister of Punjab. According to the ICIJ, Sharif's children Maryam, Hassan and Hussain "were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies". Mossack Fonseca records tied the children to four offshore companies, Nescoll Limited, Nielson Holdings Limited, Coomber Group Inc., and Hangon Property Holdings Limited. The companies acquired luxury real estate in London from 2006 to 2007. The real estate was collateral for loans of up to $13.8 million according to the Panama Papers.
Initially the Court's five-member bench started hearing the case headed by Chief Justice Jamali on 14 November 2016. Following the superannuation and retirement of Chief Justice Jamali in December, a new bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa was formed to hear the case afresh. The new bench formed by the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar under Justice Asif Saeed Khosa announced the final verdict in the case on April 20, 2017 by forming a Joint Investigation Team that has now given its recommendations. 
On these recommendations Supreme Court would now give its verdict after hearing from both sides. 
What is going to happen nobody knows but for future of Pakistan we should remember what Raana Liaquat Ali Khan said in eighties by giving an interview to Herald.
On future of Pakistan she said: "I see it very bleak? I don't see any change for the better; we're going down and down. I only hope it remains one nation. I don't see any political leader either, acceptable to all the provinces. But the talk going on now, questioning the very basis of Pakistan is not helpful at all; it just creates more bitterness. People like us should feel why we created Pakistan, but we don't question the basis, not at all. It was the thing to do then, to create Pakistan, provided it was carried on and really made an example of what Islam and how it should be practiced in a modern polity, by being generous and kind to minorities. Why is everybody running away from here? They're fed up of what's happening. Young people don't even know enough about the country, or about their leaders and their qualities."
These are the quotes that provide us some direction to analyze the outcome of Mian Nawaz Sharif fate. Very cautious moves are required from now on to make Pakistan stable and corruption free society. This can be done through justice to all on equal terms. Hence we should rely on Supreme Court verdict before making any opinion or decision. Both Accountability and Democracy needs to move together.

Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), former Head of FSCD SBP, former Head of Research Arif Habib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan.