ISLAMABAD  -  Once again distancing herself from the ownership of Avenfiled properties, Maryam Nawaz Monday claimed that according to her knowledge the same properties were not purchased in the 1990s.

She was recording her statement in the an accountability court a case related to London properties, which is one of three references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the Sharif family.

“I am not, and had never been the beneficial owner of companies or the Avenfield properties. Moreover, I have never derived income, profit or financial benefit either from the companies or the Avenfield properties in any manner whatsoever”, Maryam testified before the court.

She also challenged the authenticity of a Mossack Fonseca letter dated June 22, 2012 and investigation agencies' claims that she was the beneficial owner of the offshore companies that owned the London properties.

Maryam pointed out that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) did not produce the original letter in response to which Mossack Fonseca had allegedly stated that Maryam was the beneficial owner of the contentious offshore accounts.

“The manner of sending MLA’s to BVI authorities and receipt of responses thereof have made them highly suspect and manoeuvred documents whose credibility and authenticity is seriously disputed,” she said.

She continued:   “It is a matter of judicial record that I have throughout disputed and denied the veracity of the contents of the so-called correspondence. I had never interacted or had any dealing whatsoever with Mossack Fonseca in any capacity whatsoever.

"These documents were not certified as required by the applicable law nor were they subjected to cross-examination by me so that I could test the veracity of the contents of these documents," she said.

“Therefore, the said document could not be used as evidence against since it would be tantamount to denying the right to a fair trial.”

To another query, Maryam Nawaz stated before the court that she has never been the owner of the Avenfiled properties. Hence, she added that the question of income to justify the acquisition is totally irrelevant.

 “As per my information, Avenfield properties were not purchased in early 1990s”, she maintained.

Regarding ascendance of her brothers Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, Maryam said that their ascendance cannot be used against her, as both of them are sui juris (independent) and fully answerable for their own acts.

She also denied any involvement "in any transaction of the sale of 25 per cent of Gulf Steel Mills in 1980 and with subsequent investments."

“The Supreme Court of Pakistan in its order did not include me and my husband in the respondents who were directed to appear and associate themselves with JIT during investigation. It stands amply demonstrated by now in this trial that the JIT was on agenda to implicate her whole family by any means whatsoever.”

Maryam said that she has been dragged into the Avenfield property reference not because of corruption but to pressurise her father and bring him to his knees.

"My crime is not that I was involved in corruption, misconduct or theft," she said, adding: "I have never even held a public office. My crime is of being the daughter of Nawaz Sharif”.

Maryam said that she has appeared in court more than 70 times despite the fact that her mother, a cancer patient, desperately needed her.

“It had never happened in the 70-year history of Pakistan that a female appeared before the court so many times”, She claimed. 

She alleged: “Conspirators know that this is a very delicate relation and they think that by seeing his daughter in the courtroom Nawaz Sharif would get blackmailed and lose his confidence.”

 “My father is struggling for a bigger revolution and change in the country and I am standing with him. The daughter of Nawaz Sharif is not his weakness but his strength. Traditionally, daughters in our society enjoy special status and they are treated as equal but the malice and the ego have compromised this tradition”, she complained.

Earlier, talking to media outside the court, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said: “there is no difference between Iqama case and the plane hijacking case and people of Pakistan have rejected both these.”

He said that his narrative is getting popularity. Nawaz ,commenting on the recently announced code of conduct of the Election Commission, stated that the party meeting has been called for discuss this development.

Talking about performance and developmental projects completed by the PML-N government during the last five years, Nawaz said that scores of development projects relating to the CPEC, motorway have been executed while peace has also been restored in Karachi and Balochistan whereas Imran Khan's KP government did not complete even a single mega project in the province.

Commenting on the selection of caretaker Chief Minister of KP, Nawaz while quoting a Punjabi proverb, stated that if a blind man was assigned the task to distribute charity then he would only give only to those who would close to him.

He said Imran Khan should inform the public, which developmental project his provincial government been accomplished in KP during the last five years.

Commenting on pressure on media, Nawaz said that major newspapers are being pressurised.

NOKHAIZ SAHI and

MUHAMMAD ASAD CHAUDHRY