ISLAMABAD - Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq on Wednesday approached apex court for direction to initiate inquiry into Panama Leaks and arrest of those people who illegally transferred money out of Pakistan for establishing off-shore companies.

He filed the petition under Article 184(3) of constitution and made the federation through Ministry Parliamentary Affairs, Secretaries Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Finance and Cabinet Division and Chairman National Accountability as respondents.

Sirajul Haq prayed that the respondents be directed to initiate investigation followed by trial proceedings under the laws of Pakistan and resultantly a direction be issued to them to arrest the culprits and to recover and bring the public money back to Pakistan.

In his petition, the JI chief did not take name of anyone but termed the public office holders. In April this year, Panama Leaks shook the world. Its report mentioned names of 400 Pakistanis, including businessmen and politicians, particularly the family members of Premier Nawaz Sharif for establishing off-shore companies abroad.

The petitioner informed that as he has no other alternate, adequate and efficacious remedy except to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court because it involves a matter of public importance.

He contended that after Panama Leaks it was divulged that off-Shore companies were established by illegal transferring of public money from Pakistan, which has allegedly been originated from corruption, corrupt practices and commissions or kickbacks.

The petitioner stated after the severe criticism and protest by the public at large against the holders of the public offices and against the political leaders and the involvement of their families & businessmen into the alleged offences, the Ministry of Law and Justice wrote a letter to the Supreme Court of Pakistan with request to inquire into the matter by constituting a Commission of Inquiry .

However, the apex court in its reply asked the government to provide the list of owners of off-Shore companies and the details of individuals, families, groups and companies etc, which are required to be probed by the commission.

He said that the federal government deliberately did not provide the requisite material to the Supreme Court instead it has announced a joint committee comprised treasury and opposition benches to delay and avoid initiation of any proceedings of inquiry into the alleged corruption leaks.

The petitioner stated that JI had approached the National Accountability

Bureau regarding the investigation into off-Shore companies but it seems the chairman does not want to initiate any investigation under the provisions of NAO, 1999.

Transferring of national wealth illegally to establish off-Shore companies is an offence under the section 9 of NAO and NAB chairman has power to take cognizance of the offence.

The provisions of NAO, 1999 also caters for to deal with the matters of Anti Corruption/Corruption and Corrupt practices at the international level also. It also caters to the requirement of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)and Pakistan is also one of the signatory to the said convention of UN.

The owners, who made illegal and corrupt investments in the off-Shore companies must be tried under the Commission of Inquiry and its trial or under the laws of Pakistan including NAO, 1999 and FIA etc.

“Non-action and slackness on the part of the government agencies are  subject to the judicial review by this august court,” the petition said.

The opposition parties have submitted their input regarding settlement of TORs, which do not restrict only to the extent of inquiry but also includes its trial. However, the government is trying to prolong the matter till end to its tenure.

He expressed concern that Commission of Inquiry and the relevant TORs is not going to be finalised either by the government or by the others in near future therefore sought apex court indulgence into the matter urgently.

The government authorities and agencies, including NAB authorities should be directed to take every possible legal measures/steps to bring back country’s money from abroad. He said if the Panama Leaks matter is not inquired, investigate and the culprits responsible for financial crisis in the country, are not arrested and the public money involved is not brought back, it will cause irreparable loss and harm democracy and if democracy is destroyed, it will have disastrous consequences.