PM speech fails to convicne opposition in NA

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday failed to convince the opposition with his speech in the National Assembly on the issue of Panama Papers.

While addressing the assembly, the premier assured lawmakers that his government wants immediate investigation of the leaks.

But before leading the opposition walk out, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said that instead of answering seven questions, the speech has raised 70 more questions.

Talking to media outside the Parliament House along with PTI Chief Imran Khan, he said that the prime minister’s speech was not the answer to their demands.

He said that the opposition parties will meet tomorrow to decide the future strategy.

Meanwhile, Khan said that opposition parties are not satisfied with the speech of the Prime Minister.

The premier, in his speech, said he himself and his Cabinet colleagues are ready for any accountability process.

The prime minister asked the parliament to consider a comprehensive and effective system of accountability as per spirit of Charter of Democracy.

He said the parliament should review the shortcomings of the existing system of accountability and devise a comprehensive system that has trust of the entire nation.

Nawaz said they want that the story of those who indulge in corruption, misuse of power, tax evasion, kickbacks, illegal transfer of money abroad and got their loans written off due to political influence should also come before the people of Pakistan.

The premier said he and his family has nothing to hide, pointing out that despite the fact that there was no mention of his name in Panama Papers, he presented himself for accountability and announced formation of a commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court to probe the issue.

He said he believes retired judges can also deliver honest and impartial justice but regrettably these judges were targeted by the opposition and no former Chief Justice was ready to head the commission in a polluted environment.

The prime minister said the opposition also demanded setting up of a parliamentary committee but did not respond positively despite contacts by the government. ‘Then the opposition demanded investigation by FIA and the government offered it to nominate officer of its choice for the purpose. However, this offer too was ignored’.

He said at the demand of the opposition he wrote a letter to the chief justice for formation of a commission consisting of Supreme Court Judges.

Nawaz Sharif said he hoped that his move would satisfy opposition but it again raised a dispute over TORs.
He said the TORs of the government were very comprehensive and those of the opposition revolved around the person of the Prime Minister alone.

The prime minister said they want investigation of the issue without any delay as the country must not be kept hostage again by any crisis.

He said the government wants to focus on progress and development and interests of the nation. He said they do not want to make it an issue of personal ego.- and web desk