The six departments, which were assigned the task to submit names for the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), have submitted their list of names to the Supreme Court. The departments tasked for the proposal of names include civil institutions, NAB, FIA, SECP, SBP, and two military institutions, the ISI, and MI.
Each department had been directed to come up with three names, out of which one shall be picked by the Supreme Court to head the six-man JIT which is to report back to the court within sixty days.
The JIT will be supervised by a senior FIA officer who has personally investigated a white-collar crime and is not below the rank of Additional Director General. It will comprise of a nominee of SECP who is familiar with money laundering and white-collar crime, one NAB representative, seasoned ISI and MI officials, nominated by their director generals, and an SBP officer.
Read more: Panama JIT: Has Army been trapped?
Moments after the announcement of JIT, members of political parties had different reactions. Some were of the opinion that the Prime Minister would be in trouble, while others believed that JIT would just be a “dry-cleaning shop” for the Sharif family.
Now, the first and foremost question is regarding the capacity in which these individuals forming the JIT will be acting. Will they have access to the resources of their respective institutions or will they be acting as individuals and using their own expertise and judgment? These concerns become all the more important in the case of military representatives. How will their individual skills be relevant to the case at hand? In this country, JITs have, unfortunately, a history of being notoriously non-consequential when it comes to investigating the government hence it is imperative that the veil of ambiguity surrounding these questions be lifted.
Moreover, the military’s corps commanders had also pledged, on Monday, that they will make sure their participation is going to be transparent in JIT as directed by the Supreme Court.
However, moments after the announcement of JIT, members of political parties had different reactions. Some were of the opinion that the Prime Minister would be in trouble, while others believed that JIT would just be a “dry-cleaning shop” for the Sharif family.
Although the names of the officers have not been released officially, it is said that the FIA has given the names of three addition director generals; Wajid Zia, Ahmed Latif, and Dr. Shafeeq. Out of these three names, one is to be picked by the Supreme Court for the supervision of JIT. On an aside note, two decades earlier, Rehman Malik, in 1997, a FIA director, was terminated by Nawaz Sharif, Rehman Malik claims because he had conducted and submitted a 200 page report to the then President Rafiq Tarar, disclosing large-scale corruption of the Sharif family.
The other cause of concern for this JIT, like those before it is that none constituted in the past few years have met with public confidence or any yardstick of justice comparable to best international practices. “Model Town JIT” of 2014/15 is a case in point. It is widely perceived that it was used not to find the truth but to bail out senior personnel in Punjab government responsible for the killings. JIT merely helped to water down the findings of the report of Justice Baqar Najfi of Lahore High Court; both the “Baqir Report” and JIT report were never made public. Many serious questions had thus already risen with regard to the effectiveness of this latest JIT Team for Panama; answers to which are, as of yet not clear.