WEB DESK: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have rejected the government’s Terms of References (ToRs) for Judicial Commission and decided to hold a meeting of all opposition parties on May 2 to formulate a joint strategy on the Panama Papers.
Leaders of Opposition of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate and National Assembly Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Monday held meetings with the leaders of various opposition parties including PTI, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and others.
The PPP, PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and PML-Q categorically rejected the ToRs for the Judicial Commission prepared by the government and said that investigation should be first focus from the family of the Prime Minister. However, the Awami National Party (ANP) showed concerns over the views of the above opposition parties and said the investigation should be across-the-board.
The MQM leader, however, said that Party’s Rabita Committee would decide whether the investigation should the Prime Minister’s family-specific or across-the-board.
A meeting between the PPP delegation and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi was also held on Monday at Parliament House. They discussed the current political situation and the ‘Panama Papers’. After the meeting, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah told to media persons that the government’s TORs for Judicial Commission are unacceptable. He said the opposition parties have rejected the government’s ToRs for a judicial commission. He also said that the government’s letter to the Chief Justice with regard to the investigation commission is pointless as all the opposition parties have rejected it.
The Opposition Leader said a meeting of all the opposition parties will be held on May 2 to prepare a joint strategy on the issue of the ‘Panama Papers’. PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said if the government intends to introduce a capable commission to deal with the matter then it needs to take the opposition into account as well. He said there is unanimity among PPP and PTI about the Panama Leaks issue but the government is trying to segregate the opposition.
Qureshi said the opposition parties should make a collective effort to deal with the issue. “If the government wants to empower the Commission then it should sit with opposition parties to formulate its ToRs,” he said. Answering a question, Qureshi said his thoughts regarding the matter were delivered to PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto through an “unnamed” friend.
The PTI leader said the people of Sindh are equally troubled with the Panama Leaks issue as the Sindhi people have always actively participated in every democratic movement. A delegation of PPP led by Aitzaz Ahsan also met MQM Leader Dr Farooq Sattar to discuss matters relating to the Judicial Commission announced by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his address to the nation.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, Aitzaz said that the Prime Minister himself finalised the terms of reference (TORs) governing the probe commission by consulting his own party members for his own inquiry. Aitzaz said PPP and MQM agreed on hiring of services of an international forensic firm for probing the Panama leaks. “The government should have gone for consultation from the day one,” he added.
Dr Farooq Sattar said the TORs and forensic matters must be finalised through an agreement among all the stakeholders. He said the solution to the crises should be found with consensus and national consultation. He said the government is on a solo flight and it did not take the political parties into confidence on the ‘Panama Papers’.
Answering a question about PM’s family-focused probe, he said that the decision on it would be taken after a meeting of party’s Rabita Committee. When contacted, ANP Central Information Secretary Zahid Khan told Business Recorder that his party has concerns over the views of other opposition parties including PTI, PPP and JI. He said that almost 250 people are involved in offshore companies and there should be across-the-board investigation.
Source: Business Recorder