Pakistan

Panama leaks: Opposition boycotts NA session over PM’s absence

National-Assembly

ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties on Monday boycotted the session of the National Assembly (NA) over the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and vowed to continue the boycott until the premier comes and responds to queries against him in the wake of Panama Papers leaks, ARY News reported.

Talking to media men outside NA, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the prime minister should present his stance in the Parliament and clarify his position on Panama leaks, rather than making speeches elsewhere in the country.

“We do not want confrontation, but we would continue to boycott the sessions unless the PM takes opposition into confidence on terms of reference (ToRs) for investigations into the leaks,” he said.

He said the government and the opposition should sit together to discuss ToRs for the proposed commission to probe allegations surfacing after Panama Papers disclosures.

Earlier today, the opposition also walked out of the Senate.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Aitzaz Ahsan said Nawaz Sharif and his family are accused of corruption; they should present details of income tax and offshore assets of his family.

Aitzaz said secretary finance of Balochistan was arrested for keeping Rs700 million at his home secretly, while no action is being seen against the ones hiding Rs7 billion.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mushahidullah Khan responded saying that PTI members, Aleem Khan, Jehangir Tareen and Zulfi Bukhari also have their names in Panama Papers.

“There is a need for a legal forum to resolve such issues, but the opposition today boycotted one such forum,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in NA, Syed Khursheed Shah demanded that Nawaz Sharif should take parliament into confidence on the issue.

He said the opposition believed in democracy and supremacy of the parliament.

Shah claimed that the ToRs of the opposition were not prime minister-specific, rather they would equally applicable to all those named in Panama Papers.

PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz noted that immediately after release of Panama Papers, the prime minister volunteered himself and his family for accountability.

He said the opposition did not expect that the government would go for a commission of Supreme Court judges, but the government opted for that to come clear of charges leveled by the opposition.

He said the ToRs of the government were more comprehensive than those of the opposition and that the opposition had failed to come up with constructive criticism of the government’s draft.

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