The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) looking into the Panama Papers case seems to have bought a blunderbuss to a knife fight. Tasked with investigating the money trail behind the London flats and to probe the legal implications of the off-shore companies held by the Sharif family, the JIT instead took it upon itself to do an entire legal and moral review of Nawaz Sharif’s life and times. The zeal could have been cautiously appreciated, but the results cannot.

The team recommended reopening five cases decided by the Lahore High Court (LHC), eight investigations and two inquiries against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – for a grand total of 15. Of these 15 cases, three were registered during the 1994 and 2011 tenures of the PPP and 12 were prepared during the Musharraf regime, soon after Gen Musharraf toppled the Sharif government in the October 1999 military coup. If the JIT’s recommendations are accepted wholesale, we could be witnessing a decades old legal battles reignited which would probably rage for another decade or so.

This is not what was required of the JIT. They were constituted to answer a few strictly defined question and essentially to wrap up a legal inquiry that had been threatening to spill over in other matters. Doing exactly the opposite the JIT has gleefully taken the cup and splashed it far and wide – quite uselessly too it must be added.

Even if the JIT feels that the reasoning given by the judiciary in some of these cases is unacceptable or that some inquiries still need adequate answers, the fact remains that without a proper cause cases cannot be reopened again. These cases were fully considered by the courts and quashed. Barring any new revolutionary evidence uncovered by the JIT pertaining to these cases, there is simply no legal ground to reopen them.

The same can be said for investigations and inquires; the JIT’s feeling that “there were inconsistencies” or “more could have been done” is not enough to reopen past cases. A justification must be provided.

And since we are missing that new evidence or justifications for reopening these cases, the JIT’s recommendations come off as over-zealous more than professional. Zealotry is never a good trait in investigators but it is especially problematic if present in a highly politicised team required to be impartial.

This ill-constructed catch-all condemnation of the Prime Minister’s family delegitimises the bits that were well constructed and necessary – such as the ones relating to the Panama papers and the London apartments. Blunderbusses may get the job done, but without much precision or grace, sometimes they even damage the shooter himself.