Opposition to meet today

WEB DESK: Rejecting the explanation offered by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the National Assembly, the combined opposition, staged a walkout from the House in protest.

Soon after the Prime Minister gave his statement in the House, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah announced the combined opposition’s decision not to accept the explanation but opted for a walkout.

“We had sought answers to very simple seven questions [the combined opposition had earlier forwarded] but the explanation which has been given in the House, actually generated 70 other questions…we were expecting that answers to our seven questions will resolve the matter but the matter has now further been complicated,” Shah said.

He said the opposition was expecting that the Prime Minister will explain his position on the offshore companies owned by his children but now there comes another issue of Sharif’s family having industries in Dubai and Jeddah.

“The nation wants answers to our seven questions, [if they are not being answered], we are not going to waste time of the House through long speeches,” the opposition leader said prior to leading a walkout of the combined opposition.

Later, talking to reporters along with PTI chief Imran Khan, leader of the opposition in Senate Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, MQM’s Mian Mohammad Ateeq Sheikh, AML chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, the leader of the opposition said the combined opposition would meet on Tuesday to chalk out future strategy.

Shah said that people of Pakistan are the biggest judge as they watched the Prime Minister live in the National Assembly. “Opposition parties are not satisfied with the response given in the Assembly,” he added.

“We had sought a response on offshore companies and his London flats, but the Prime Minister again repeated the stories of his Jeddah and Dubai factories,” he added.

Aitzaz Ahsan maintained that the Prime Minister in his speech stated that they purchased the London flats in 2005 while those flats were purchased in 1993 and 1994. He said that the Prime Minister also did not mention about the bank loan that was taken for the purchase of flats.

Displaying purported documents, Imran Khan maintained that the first flat was purchased in 1993, the second and third were purchased in 1995, the fourth was bought in 1996 and fifth on January 29, 2004.

He said the Prime Minister made no mention of his daughter Maryam Nawaz, who was the sole owner of two offshore companies.

From 1981 to 1993 Nawaz Sharif’s average monthly income was only Rs 22,600 as per the income tax returns’ record, he added.

“How he could purchase expensive properties in London when he paid only Rs 79,000 income tax during that period,” he asked while referring to his income tax returns that he submitted to the FBR.

He asked: “If NS was indeed earning just 22000 a month during that time, from where did the industries worth billions spring up?”

Responding to the Prime Minister’s claim that he was not directly named in the Panama Papers, Imran showed Sharif’s tax returns claiming that in the election papers, the prime minister had declared his daughter Maryam Nawaz as dependant who owns two offshore firms.

“How a dependant can own such huge amount of money to buy offshore companies…it means it was Nawaz Sharif’s money,” Imran added.

“Mian Sahib! You, not I, who has been mentioned in the Panama Papers but again I am ready to explain each and everything I own…now we have a changed Pakistan and different world. Better you should have come up with facts in the House,” he added.

Before the start of the National Assembly session, Imran told journalists that he has been accused of having offshore company, but he was ready to explain himself before the nation. In 1983, he said he bought a London flat with tax paid money and the money was earned by playing county cricket.

He added: “I was earning playing county cricket. I have income and tax returns to show it. What was Mian Sahib doing?”

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad maintained that the attendance of the treasury benches in today’s sitting was only 141 which also included 70 members elected on the reserved seats.

“This is the actual position of the most popular Prime Minister of the PML-N despite strict instructions to the members to ensure 100 percent attendance,” he added. – Business Recorder