Govt moves to cut down security provided to Panama JIT members

The PML-N government has decided to cut the security detail being provided to members of the joint investigation team (JIT) which had probed allegations of financial misappropriation and money laundering against their party chief and his family.
“We have received reports that the JIT members and their children are being provided more security than necessary,” State Minister Talal Chaudhry said on Wednesday.
“Rangers’ vehicles accompany even the children of the JIT members when they go to buy vegetables,” Chaudhry claimed, saying the government had decided to retract the extra security provided to members of the team.
“The JIT members will be provided only with necessary security,” the minister added.
“The SC has had a lot to say with regards to the JIT members: they are being provided with a lot, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s observations,” Chaudhry said, taking a snipe at the apex court.
It may be recalled that the members of the JIT had faced at least one open threat while they were conducting their investigations into the Sharif family’s business dealings.
In May, Senator Nehal Hashmi had delivered an incendiary speech, an apparent outburst against the judiciary, that cost him his membership of the ruling PML-N.
In what was seen as an effort to prove his loyalty to the Sharif family, Hashmi had warned the individuals conducting the SC-sanctioned investigation that they would be “taken to task” for grilling the premier’s family and that even their children would not be safe from “retribution”.
The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of Hashmi’s speech, which had also led the former PML-N leader to resign from the Senate. Later, however, Hashmi had retracted his resignation.
During a hearing of the case against Hashmi in the SC, the court had likened the government to the Sicilian mafia.
“It seems that the government’s self-proclaimed spokespersons let no opportunity for maligning the courts slip by,” Justice Ejaz Afzal had remarked.