Opp con­sid­ers re­sign­ing from Par­lia­ment Govt pre­pares strat­egy to ‘ shut up’ op­po­si­tion

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

SOPHIA SID­DIQUI ISLAMABAD— In a sur­prise de­vel­op­ment, the op­po­si­tion par­ties in­clud­ing Pak­istan Tehree­keIn­saaf, Pak­istan Peo­ples Party and Mut­tahida Qaumi Movement, which ap­peared to be di­vided over de­mand­ing res­ig­na­tion from the Prime Min­is­ter on Panama dis­clo­sures, are con­sid­er­ing to re­sign from the Na­tional As­sem­bly, Se­nate and the pro­vin­cial as­sem­blies if the gov­ern­ment did not sit with them in or­der to firm up a joint and con­sen­sus Terms of Ref­er­ence for in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Panama dis­clo­sures.

Ac­cord­ing to se­nior sources within the op­po­si­tion par­ties, the main op­po­si­tion par­ties were com­pelled to mull over this op­tion af­ter the rul­ing coali­tion par­ties meet­ing chaired by Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif on Satur­day to­tally dis­carded the TORs pro­posed by the op­po­si­tion. How­ever, this meet­ing had agreed to form a joint com­mit­tee of coali­tion part­ners to con­tact the op­po­si­tion on the TORs.

The Prime Min­is­ters re­marks on in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Panama pa­pers are just lip ser­vice. Had he been in­ter­ested in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of his fam­ilys off­shore hold­ings, he would not have op­posed our TORs, a se­nior leader of op­po­si­tion par­ties said on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The se­nior lead­ers of op­po­si­tion par­ties, were, how­ever quick to add that they ex­pect that san­ity will pre­vail within the gov­ern­ment ranks and in­stead of push­ing the op­po­si­tion to go for the ex­treme po­si­tion of res­ig­na­tions, will sit with the op­po­si­tion par­ties to chalk out the TORs.

We are ready to re­view our TORs if the gov­ern­ment sit with us. But one thing is clear that in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Panama leaks should start from the house of the prime min­is­ter, a mem­ber of the op­po­si­tion leader said.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts, the op­po­si­tion par­ties should re­frain from such a course as it will not weaken the sys­tem and not serve the pur­pose of democ­racy. They were con­fi­dent that both the gov­ern­ment and op­po­si­tion par­ties will sit to­gether to set­tle the dust.

Mean­while, ses­sions of the Na­tional As­sem­bly and the Se­nate are be­gin­ning from to­day and the gov­ern­ment has pre­pared a strat­egy to shut up the op­po­si­tion on the is­sue of Panama pa­pers. Ac­cord­ing to sources within the gov­ern­ment, both the houses have al­ready held dis­cus­sion on the Panama pa­pers and they would not al­low the op­po­si­tion par­ties to waste pre­cious time of the par­lia­ment on just one is­sue. There are many is­sues that need to be dis­cussed, they said adding that the mem­bers in­stead of in­dulging in mud­sling­ing should give pro­pos­als for the up­com­ing bud­get to be pre­sented next month.

On the other side the rul­ing party also de­cided to write the lat­ter to op­po­si­tion about the ToRs told sources.

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