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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has indicated that it will forward the names of all of its 291 officials of grade 18 and above to the Supreme Court for selection of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate allegations against the Prime Minister and his family stemming from the Panama Papers.

SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi informed the Senate standing committee on finance of his decision in a meeting on Tuesday.

“We have decided to forward the names of all the officers of grade 18 and above to the Supreme Court so that there is no confusion. What can we do?”
– SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi

Mr. Hijazi had been asked by the Chairman of the committee Senator Saleem Mandviwalla to brief the meeting on it. “We want to know the reasons why the names forwarded by the SECP and the State Bank have been rejected by the court,” he said.

Mr. Hijazi stated he was not aware of the reason why the court had rejected the names proposed by the SECP.

Read more: Dawn Leaks notification: Is the PM side-stepping from the real case?

He added, “We have decided to forward the names of all the officers of grade 18 and above to the Supreme Court so that there is no confusion. What can we do?” There are 291 officials of that cadre in the commission. This statement brought bewildered expressions on the face of all present. Mr. Mandviwalla asked, “How would they select the right person from such a huge list?”

All members remained silent except for Senator Kamil Ali Agha who quipped, “This is not a problem, as selecting a diamond is easy due to its unique shine.”

Previously, the special bench of the Supreme Court (SC), which will be overseeing the implementation of the Panama Papers case verdict, rejected the nominees put forth by SECP and State Bank.

He was alluding to the statement made by Justice Ejaz Afzal of the Supreme Court that members of the JIT needed to be known for their integrity like a diamond.

The committee chairman maintained his calm by containing his smile and saying, “Alright, let us continue with the agenda.”

Previously, the special bench of the Supreme Court (SC), which will be overseeing the implementation of the Panama Papers case verdict, rejected the nominees put forth by SECP and State Bank.

Read more: Any hope from JIT for Justice?

The bench consists of Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, all of whom were part of the five-member Panama bench and had been part of the majority vote.

They had rejected the nominees on the grounds that the names put forth did not meet the criteria of the JIT.

Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed warned that “No one will be allowed to play games with the court” and asked the heads of SECP and State Bank to appear before the court on Friday.

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