ISLAMABAD - Former interior minister Rehman Malik has sought time from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) – probing the Panama leaks scandal – for appearance as he was abroad.

The JIT on Monday summoned Senator Malik to appear today (Tuesday) in connection with the Panama leaks case.

Malik, a senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, told The Nation from London that he would appear before the JIT and would not try to avoid interrogation.

“I have requested the JIT to give me a little time. I am coming back on the first available flight to appear before the JIT. I have done nothing wrong to be scared,” he said.

Malik claimed his name never appeared in the Panama Papers but some people were bent upon dragging him into the controversy. “I will prove my innocence. I have solid evidence,” he added.

The senator’s office in Islamabad said that a letter from the JIT had been received asking Malik to appear on June 13th.

“Senator Rehman Malik is abroad since June 9 in connection with PPP overseas affairs and meetings with [the] leadership [Asif Ali Zardari] abroad. The JIT issued this letter on June 10,” his spokesperson said.

He added: “Senator Rehman Malik is cutting his overseas visit short and has requested for short adjournment and earliest new date instead of tomorrow [June 13].”

The JIT has also summoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to appear on June 15th. The premier – who flew to Riyadh on Monday - is expected to answer investigators’ questions.

The JIT has directed Sharif to “bring along all relevant record/documents/material.”

PM Sharif’s two sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, have attended the JIT proceedings several times over the recent weeks. Last year, a huge leak of confidential documents revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. They showed how Mossack Fonseca had helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax. The company says it has operated beyond reproach for 40 years and had never been charged with criminal wrong-doing.