ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) top leadership on Wednesday cast doubt on a letter from a Qatari prince , which the Sharif family submitted to the Supreme Court along with a bundled of documents as ‘evidence’ in the Panama Leaks case, terming it doubtful.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah said that the letter had dropped out of nowhere.  “This letter was not in the whole story but has become the central point in no time. This letter is giving rise to misgivings and looks doubtful,” he said while talking to journalists.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif submitted in the Supreme Court the details of his assets which included a letter from Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Hamad bin Abdullah Bin Jassim Bin Muhammed Al Thani, who provided funds for the purchase of properties in London, which were now owned by Sharif's children. Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz submitted a 397-page document detailing their assets.

The most interesting document given to the court was the letter from the Qatari prince stating that he arranged the sum to the Sharif family for purchasing flats in London.

The letter says Mian Sharif, in 1980, invested 12 million Dirhams in the Al Thani Company belonging to the Qatari prince 's father. “In the year 2006, the accounts in relation to the above investments were settled between Hussain Nawaz Sharif and the Al Thani family, who then delivered the bearer shares of the companies...to a representative of Hussain Nawaz (Nawaz's son),” the letter read.

It immediately got a terse response from one of the five judges hearing the case who observed that the letter contradicts the premier’s statement in parliament this year when he did not disclose the source of money or that he got it from a Qatari company.

The Qatari prince 's letter could prove instrumental to dismiss the charges by the opposition that the London flats were bought with illegal money transferred by the Sharif family when Nawaz was the Prime Minister.

Shah said that ‘Ehtesabur Rehman’ (Saifur Rehman) had shifted to Qatar to manufacture letters in support of the Sharif family. “When there is an allegation, there is something behind it. The Panama Leaks case is a test case for our judicial system,” he said.

The PPP leader said that his party believed in the supremacy of parliament and wanted all national issues to be resolved in the house.

Speaking along with Shah, Opposition Leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan said that the Qatari prince’s letter appeared unauthentic.

“The signatures on the letter may be original but the language used in the letter is not we are used to seeing by the Arab royal families. Why did the Sharif family not touch the letter before,” he questioned.

Ahsan said that newspapers’ clippings had been presented in courts in the past as evidence and the courts had also taken suo moto actions on such media reports.

“As far the PPP is concerned, we never wanted the case to be taken to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court heard the case like it did against former prime ministers Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf, then Nawaz Sharif may not escape,” he maintained.

Khurshid Shah said that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf should not have boycotted the joint session of the parliament to be addressed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today (November 17).

“When we can meet (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, why can’t we sit with Erdogan. The PTI’s decision lacks logic,” he said, alluding to the meeting between Imran Khan and Modi in India earlier this year.

He also criticised the government’s decision to expel Turkish teachers from Pakistan. “I think we should not politicise education. These are two distinct subjects,” he said.

 

Separately, PPP leader Shehla Raza said that the Qatari prince’s letter was of no worth as he was just three years in 1981 and his statement was based only on the hearsay. She said that Hamad bin Jasim’s statement was based on what he understood, as he was not a part of the deed.

Raza said that the prime minister did not even mention these businesses despite having addressed the nation twice on the issue.