Opposition summons meeting today to devise strategy

WEB DESK: The combined opposition would chalk out its future discourse today (Monday) following the government and its allied parties rejected the terms of references (ToRs) it had sent to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for formation of a judicial commission to investigate Panama Leaks.

Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah called in a joint meeting of the parliamentary leaders of the opposition political parties of both houses of the parliament as the opposition parties are expected to adopt a tough stance against the government in both houses that have been summoned to meet on Monday evening.

Sources close to the opposition leader said that in the meeting, which would be held at the Parliament House ahead of the National Assembly and Senate sessions, the parliamentary leaders of nine political parties would discuss the government’s response on the ToRs and a joint strategy to be adopted in both houses of the parliament.

They further said that the opposition political parties would also deliberate upon a possible joint future discourse outside the parliament following a formal response from the Prime Minster is received to the opposition leader’s earlier letter.

Last week, Khursheed Shah sent a formal letter to the Prime Minister along with the proposed ToRs framed by the combined opposition insisting on a judicial commission to kick start the accountability process from the Prime Minister and his family.

However, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its allied political parties, rejected the combined opposition’s ToRs, describing these as against the spirit of the constitution but mandated the prime minister to hold further consultation and prepare a comprehensive response to the opposition leader’s letter.

The sources further said the meeting will be attended by parliamentary leaders of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Jamaat-e-Islami, Awami National Party (ANP), Qaumi Wattan Party (QWP), Balochistan National Party-Awai (BNP-A) and Awami Muslim League (AML).

PTI chairman Imran Khan, who returned back from Saudi Arabia on Sunday after performing Umrah, held a meeting with AML chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and discussed the deadlock on ToRs between the government and the opposition.

The party sources said that the two leaders agreed to adopt an aggressive stance in the parliament on Panama leaks and the involvement of the Prime Minister’s children in offshore companies abroad.

The PTI chief also criticised the government for allegedly approving Rs430 million for renovating the Prime Minister’s Murree residence for the upcoming SAARC Summit.

“Shameful how government approves Rs 43 chores for refurbishing Sharif’s personal home in Murree using SAARC Summit in Murree as a pretext,” Khan twitted from his official twitter account, adding “this is not first time Sharifs have used public money on their properties but Rs 11 billion was spent on upgrading Raiwind estate and its environs.

“The Raiwind road case is still in NAB [National Accountability Bureau]. With such abuse of public money by our leaders, it is no wonder people are reluctant to pay taxes,” he added. – Business Recorder

by Ali Hussain