Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided to quit the Parliamentary Committee on Terms of References (ToRs) for Panama Papers and will file references against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.
The PPP took this decision in its core committee meeting held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Senior leaders of the party including Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Khursheed Shah, Lateef Khosa and Farhatullah Babar participated in the meeting.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said the issue of Panama Papers was discussed thoroughly in the meeting and the party chairman was also briefed about it.
He said the government was prolonging the ToRs issue and that’s why the PPP has decided to quit it.
Other opposition parties including the Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement will also be consulted on the issue of leaving the parliamentary party on the ToRs, he said.
Ahsan said that he is trying to bring all opposition parties on a “single container” for the protest movement against the government.
The accountability of all should be held, but the process should begin from the Prime Minister and his family.
He said that Bilawal Bhutto has expressed his concerns about the slow pace of ongoing accountability process and reiterated that the accountability should begin from the prime minister.
Lateef Khosa said the party has decided to file references against the Prime Minister and Chief Minister Punjab and Bilawal Bhutto has also given a go ahead for it.
He said a reference will also be filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Captain (Retd) Safdar and others.
Ineligible persons should not sit in the parliament and it is job of the Election Commission of Pakistan to look into credentials of the parliamentarians, he said.
Earlier, Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar also met with Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Thursday in the former’s chamber and discussed Terms of Reference (ToRs) for Judicial Commission to probe the issue of the Panama Papers.
The minister informed the Opposition Leader that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to arrive in the country by the end of Ramazan. Both the leaders also discussed over the selections of the members of Election Commission of Pakistan.
Khursheed Shah said that he will soon meet the opposition members over the issue of selection of member of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
According to a handout issued by the PPP, Party Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting also decided to file a petition against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before the Election Commission of Pakistan for his disqualification from holding public office.
Simultaneously another case will also be filed in the NAB against the Prime Minister, he said. He said that Sardar Latif Khosa briefed the meeting on the dossiers for filing petition before the ECP as well as a case in the NAB.
“It was decided that both the petition before the ECP and NAB reference will be filed by Latif Khosa on behalf of the Party at the earliest.
“Senator Aitzaz Ahsan briefed the meeting on the great lengths to which the opposition parties in the bi-partisan Parliamentary Committee had gone to formulate agreed Terms of Reference (ToRs) for probing the Panama Leaks scandal.
“The meeting expressed grave concern over the foot dragging resorted to by the ruling coalition in carrying forward the Panama leaks investigations and warned the government that it could result in serious political repercussions.
“The meeting decided to consult all the parties on the situation arising out of the government bid to discourage the parliamentary committee from ensuring credible, effective and an across-the-board accountability of all those involved in the scandal the spokesman said.
“The ruling party has been thoroughly exposed and in its bid to protect an individual from accountability it is resorting to dangerous brinkmanship which can result in serious repercussions,” he warned.
Stressing the need for an impartial and effective accountability mechanism in the country the meeting vowed to vigorously pursue the Panama Leaks scandal, the Spokesperson said.
The meeting also stressed the need for unity in the opposition ranks in formulating a robust and credible response to the ruling coalition side-tracking the issue, he said.
The meeting also reviewed the re-organisation matters of the Party in all the provinces and directed the respective provincial co-ordination committees to step up the reorganisation process in accordance with the guidelines already issued in this regard.
The spokesperson said that the meeting condemned the kidnapping of the son of Chief Justice Sindh High Court and the targeted assassination of Qawwal Amjad Sabri in Karachi in quick succession.
Expressing grave concern over these incidents the meeting called for investigating whether the spurt in the incidents of targeting high profile and high value individuals was part of some larger design of the militants and their backers. -Business Recorder