ISLAMABAD - Levelling serious allegations on the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Panama Papers case, key ruling party ministers said on Saturday that they will not accept the findings of the probe sans the Qatari prince’s testimony.

Federal ministers Khawaja Asif, Shahid Khaqan Abbassi, Ahsan Iqbal and Saad Rafique held a press conference at the Press Information Department and questioned the credibility of the apex court-mandated investigation team – comprising members from six different state institutions and agencies.

“If the testimony of Qatar’s former PM is not made a part of the investigation, the JIT report will be compromised and we will not accept it,” the quartet maintained.

The ministers also demanded making the proceedings of the JIT public so “the people could themselves judge what actually had happened” at the Federal Judicial Academy, where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his children and other relevant persons were called for questioning.

The party sources said that before holding the press conference, all the four ministers along with some other senior party members held a discussion at Prime Minister’s House, where the Attorney General of Pakistan also gave a briefing on the possible outcome of the JIT probe and its legal consequences.

These sources said that all the participants reposed full confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and vowed to foil all the ‘conspiracies’ being hatched against the prime minister and the government.

The meeting decided that Nawaz would continue as prime minister and the conspiracy to remove him from power in an ‘undemocratic fashion’ would be resisted on all fronts, the sources said.

It was decided to confront the elements behind this ‘conspiracy with full force’ while the legal team of the government would also weigh in on options to tackle the matter in the apex court, the sources added.

Later, in the light of the decision made in the meeting, the ministers held the press conference, where they targeted the JIT functioning and highlighted the ‘flaws and loopholes’ in the whole exercise, and raised questions on a couple of the team members for their alleged biasness against the Sharif family.

Referring to the late Benazir Bhutto’s murder case, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that Mark Siegel’s statement was recorded in the case outside the country. Why such arrangement could not be made in the present case for the recording of the statement of Qatari price in Qatar, he asked.

Asif alleged that those behind repressing the investigation were not doing it on the basis of law but the dice which was tossed against the ruling PML-N and the Sharif family.

He said that PM Sharif, his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and PM’s children - Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz - all had presented themselves before the JIT.

The defence minister claimed that the original jurisdiction of investigation of the companies owned by Sharifs lies with the countries where these companies exist.

“It is interesting that neither Saudi Arabia nor the United Kingdom has raised any questions regarding the companies. But there is a hue and cry about them in Pakistan,” Asif said.

Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal said that PML-N leaders were political people and respect the rule of law, and they believe that the right to rule lies with the people of the country.

He demanded that the JIT proceedings should be made public. “The video of what was asked and answered should be shown to the people,” he said.

Railways Minister Saad Rafique said that an impression was given that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was going to head the JIT, but “recently there have been rumours that the JIT is being controlled by members of intelligence agencies within the team”.

The minister said that the Sharif family was treated like common thieves and criminals without any proof against them. “But no one is ready to tell us where the theft took place.”

“If years-old accounts are audited, many political families would find themselves in trouble,” he maintained.

Pointing out alleged monetary irregularities by PTI chief Imran Khan, Khawaja Asif questioned, “Has anyone asked Imran Khan how his ex-wife sent him money through a cousin? Why was a JIT not formed to probe that matter?”

The defence minister claimed that he had warned in October 2012 that “Imran had invested Zakat money in Paris and put it in personal bank accounts... This is a democratic era and we should respect the rule of law.”

The leaders claimed that conspiracies were being hatched against the country by organising sit-ins.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said they were political workers and supporting Nawaz Sharif for the last 25 years.

He said the government fully supported the JIT and extended all sort of help to it. He said the prime minister presented himself before the JIT and even did not use his right of immunity.

Even the daughter of the Prime Minister Ms Maryam Nawaz Sharif appeared before the JIT, which was contrary to “our norms and values”, which showed how much respect the party leadership has for the rule of law and constitution, the minister said.

Pointing out alleged monetary irregularities by PTI chief Imran Khan, Khawaja Asif questioned, “Has anyone asked Imran Khan how his ex-wife sent him money through a cousin? Why was a JIT not formed to probe that matter?”

The defence minister claimed that he had warned in October 2012 that “Imran had invested Zakat money in Paris and put it in personal bank accounts... This is a democratic era and we should respect the rule of law.”

The leaders claimed that conspiracies were being hatched against the country by organising sit-ins.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said they were political workers and supporting Nawaz Sharif for the last 25 years.

He said the government fully supported the JIT and extended all sort of help to it. He said the prime minister presented himself before the JIT and even did not use his right of immunity.

Even the daughter of the Prime Minister Ms Maryam Nawaz Sharif appeared before the JIT, which was contrary to “our norms and values”, which showed how much respect the party leadership has for the rule of law and constitution, the minister said.