The Supreme Court on Thursday constituted a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the alleged illegal transfer of 14,398 acres of Pakpattan Auqaf land in 1986 by then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif, a private TV channel reported. During the hearing, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was informed that the then secretary had granted ‘illegal permission’ for the transfer. Upon which, the top judge inquired whether the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo had reviewed the records. “It has raised doubts over his [Nawaz] memory. His permissions are on the record,” he observed.The defence counsel said Nawaz was prepared for a JIT probe and trusted the bench to take the appropriate decisions. The court constituted a JIT under the leadership of National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) chief Khaliq Dad Lak. Officials from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are also part of the team. Summoning Lak in the next hearing, the bench gave the JIT one week to prepare ToRs. The PML-N supremo is facing a charge that as chief minister of Punjab in 1986, he had ordered withdrawal of a notification of Dec 17, 1969, and allegedly allotted huge lands of Auqaf around Pakpattan to Dewan Ghulam Qutab in violation of a high court order.The SC took up a review petition against the land dispute which had been decided by the apex court back in 2015. The chief justice, during his visit to the Baba Farid shrine earlier this year, had promised justice in the case when dozens of the affected people raised slogans to get his attention towards their plight.Dewans claim that they had been declared caretakers of 14,500 kanal land of the Baba Farid shrine but the Auqaf Department says the shrine caretakers had no right to sell the land as it was not their jurisdiction to sell ownership rights of the land associated with the shrine since centuries. Published in Daily Times, December 14th 2018.