Broadsheet Saga: Justice Azmat Saeed made head of the inquiry committee

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has appointed former Supreme Court judge Azmat Saeed Sheikh as head of the inquiry committee to probe the Broadsheet scandal.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz took to his official twitter handle and wrote, “Justice (retd) Azmat Saeed Sheikh will head the inquiry committee on the broadsheet case”.

Shibli Faraz further said that the inquiry committee on the Broadsheet scandal will complete its inquiry in 45 days.

Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chauhdry also tweeted and said that “Prime Minister Imran Khan has appointed Justice (retd) Azmat Saeed as head of the Broadsheet inquiry committee”, adding that the remaining members of the committee would be appointed with Justice (retd) Saeed’s consultation.

PM constitutes committee

The federal cabinet in its meeting on Jan 19 had decided to form a new inquiry committee on the recommendation of an inter-ministerial committee that had earlier been constituted by PM Khan to look into the Broadsheet saga.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting of the federal cabinet, the information minister had said federal cabinet meeting had formed an inquiry committe in light of recommendations presented to PM Imran Khan regarding the Broadsheet scandal.

“Newly formed inquiry committee will find out main characters who illegally benefitted themselves,” said Shibli Faraz, adding the committee will submit its report in 45 days.

He further said that the committee will be comprised of a former judge of the High Court or Supreme Court, a senior officer from FIA, Attorney General Office and any officer nominated by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Opposition reacts

In a statement on Friday, senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal pointed out that ex-SC judge was part of the bench in the Panama Papers case which disqualified Nawaz Sharif.

He further claimed that Justice (R) Saeed is also a member of Shaukat Khanum hospital’s board of governors.

Iqbal also pointed out that Justice Azmat was also on NAB panel when Broadsheet deal was done under former president Pervez Musharraf.

“Imran Khan wants to protect himself and NAB by appointing Justice Azmat as head of the investigation panel,” Ahsan Iqbal said over the development.

Meanwhile, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari said the PTI’s dishonesty has been exposed by the nomination of committee head. “It seems that the government wants to put all the blame on the previous governments.”

Bukhari said the PPP has reservations on the committee, adding, “it is a sensitive matter which should be investigated in a transparent manner.”

Important Facts

An important fact to note is that Justice Saeed was part of the Panama Papers bench that disqualified the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif as member of the National Assembly.

The bench, which was headed by then chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa, included Justice Ijaz Afzal Khan, Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijaz Ul Hasan.

”Justice Sheikh’s Profile”

Justice (r) Azmat Saeed Sheikh, who’s been made head of the Broadsheet inquiry committee, was NAB’s deputy prosecutor general when the accountability watchdog signed the agreement with Broadsheet in 2000.

You can read his profile on Supreme Court’s website


Abdullah Zahid

Abdullah Zahid is TPD's correspondent in Karachi. He reports on Pakistani political affairs.

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