Islamabad: In an unusual move, Pakistan army on Monday said that it will play its "due role" in a "legal and transparent manner" in probing the Panamagate case as part of the Supreme Court-ordered team which will investigate graft charges against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.
A five-judge Supreme Court bench last week ordered setting up of a Joint Investigation Team comprising officials from different agencies including those from powerful spy agencies the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence to probe graft charges against Sharifs.
In a statement, the army said the 202nd Corps Commanders Conference presided over by Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa was held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi wherein the top Generals discussed the Panama Case verdict by the Supreme Court "with special reference to JIT".
"The forum pledged that the institution, through its members in joint investigation team, shall play its due role in a legal and transparent manner fulfilling confidence reposed by the apex court of Pakistan," the statement said.
Pakistan's powerful military has always played an important role in the country's politics. The army has been actually in charge for more than 33 years of Pakistan's 70-year history. The Corps Commanders meeting also reviewed progress of the ongoing countrywide military Operation 'Radd-ul-Fasaad'. The other agencies in the JIT include the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. The court had ordered setting up of the JIT within a week.
The JIT will present its report before the bench after every two weeks and will complete its probe in 60 days. The bench comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan had also ordered 67-year-old Sharif and his two sons - Hasan and Hussain - to appear before the JIT.
The high-profile graft case is about alleged money laundering by Sharif in 1990s when he twice served as the prime minister to purchase assets in London. The assets surfaced when Panama papers last year showed that they were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif's children.