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Embattled Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today rejected as "farce" a probe panel's damning report that recommended filing of a corruption case against him and his family as the Supreme Court resumed the hearing of the high-voltage Panamagate graft case. A six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) set up by the Supreme Court to investigate charges of money laundering against 67-year-old Sharif and his family had submitted the report on July 10 to the court, which could cost him his job. "The entire investigation was a farce and an eyewash and was undertaken with a predisposed mind to malign and implicate the respondents in some wrongdoing or the other," according to the objection filed by the Sharif family. Khawja Harris on behalf of Sharif and his family filed a response to the JIT report, rejecting its findings and accusing it of bias and violation of the original mandate. "The JIT report is not only against the law but also the constitution of the country and its finding are, therefore, of not legal value," he said. But the JIT report is turning into a major challenge to Sharif.
Opposition parties accuse his family of using their political influence to amass wealth by unlawful means and are demanding his resignation. So far Sharif has refused to quit, calling the investigators' report a compilation of "allegations and assumptions". His decision to stay in power was endorsed by the federal cabinet last week. Sharif has all along denied any wrongdoing. During today's hearing, his lawyer also objected to the documents obtained from the foreign countries, which he said was against laws of the country. Harris asked the court to provide the volume 10 of the report which was kept confidential on JIT's request. He also urged the court to reject the JIT report. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on his behalf separately submitted objections over the JIT report in the Supreme Court registrar's office.
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