Shehbaz reached the secretariat amid tight security days after PM Nawaz Sharif was also called in for interrogation.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday was interrogated for nearly four hours by a joint investigation team probing the Sharif family in the Panamagate case.
The Punjab chief minister who made his maiden appearance before the JIT was accompanied by Interior Minister Chauhdry Nisar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his son, Hamza Shehbaz. Speaking to the media after his interrogation, the provincial chief minister said, “A new chapter of history has been written today after a chief minister of a province and a sitting prime minister appeared before an investigation committee in the country.”
“This is proof that Sharif family respects the law and judiciary,” he added.
Shehbaz said he did not make any excuses to escape the investigation for accountability since it was not the first time that his family was being tried. Taking a job at former president Gen (retd) Parvez Musharraf who had fled the country before his trial was to take place, Shehbaz said, “I have been suffering from backbone pain, people know that, but I didn’t make any excuses and didn’t go to London for treatment like ‘others’.”
“Earlier, our Ittefaq Foundries were snatched away from us that our father had established after working hard for many decades,” the chief minister said adding that this was the fifth time his family faced the trial.
Before his arrival at the academy, Shehbaz chaired a meeting at Punjab House to discuss the impending visit to the probing committee.
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Almost a similar security arrangement was in place around the vicinity of FJA building that was provided when PM Nawaz appeared before the JIT on June 15. Islamabad Traffic Police devised a special traffic plan for the day and three major connecting roads in the area leading to the FJA are closed for traffic. The ITP have created several alternative routes and diversion points for traffic in the area.
Around 2,500 personnel of Punjab Police, FC, and Rangers have been deputed in the area.
Earlier, the Punjab government clarified that Shehbaz has not been ‘summoned’ rather he has been called to assist the JIT on June 17 for his acquaintance with details of Hudabiya Paper Mill case.
Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information and Culture Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan denied media reports of JIT summoning Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif on June 17 and said the chief minister has been called up by the JIT. He said Shehbaz was called to provide details of the Hudabiya Paper Mill case to a six-member JIT, headed by Federal Investigation Agency’s Additional Director General Wajid Zia.
He said only accused or co-accused could be summoned whereas anybody with the knowledge that could help the investigation move forward can only be called before the JIT for assistance.