ISLAMABAD: The combined opposition has refused to back down from its seven proposed questions to the prime minister, rejecting all explanations offered by the government.
The deadlock between the government and opposition parties over the Panama leaks inquiry persisted on Thursday with both sides refusing to take a step back.
Opposition preps seven blunt questions for PM Nawaz over Panama leaks
While the government side responded to the questions asked by the opposition, the latter said it was not the end as they wanted answers to some more ‘supplementary questions’. The PM is likely to appear in parliament on Monday to address the opposition’s concerns.
Even if the premier responds to the questions, the opposition will take the matter to the judicial commission anyway. Therefore, the PM is more likely to toe the same line he did in his addresses to the nation.
“There is no escape [from the questionnaire],” Opposition Leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan said while addressing the media after a meeting of the opposition parties at Parliament House.
Referring to the answers given by the government, the PPP senator said some people used abusive language [against the opposition] but they would be mistaken to think they have given the answers.
“These are not the answers… we want not only detailed answers to all our seven questions but all the related supplementary questions that the MPs ask from the PM,” he added.
Ahsan said the opposition was hopeful the PM would attend the NA session and answer all the questions.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi thought otherwise. “It seems the government has no answers and its attitude reflects they are running away,” the PTI leader said.
Responding to a question about the Panama commission, Ahsan said when the case would be taken up by the judicial commission the number of questions would not be seven but 700.
Moments after the opposition meeting, Talal Chaudhry, Zubair Umer and Danyal Aziz hit back at the parties united against the government.
“Those who have over 150 offshore companies are asking us questions,” Chaudhry retorted while referring to the leaders of PTI and PPP.
PTI chairman calls PM Nawaz ‘king of corruption’
Umer reiterated the government’s stance that PM Nawaz did not own any offshore company. Former military dictator’s government tried its best but could not find any wrongdoing by the Sharif family in financial matters, he added.
Aziz said the opposition was running away from accountability as it “deleted the provisions related to kickbacks, corruption and transfer of money abroad” from its proposed terms of reference for the Panama inquiry. “They merely want to target PM Nawaz.”
He also censured Imran Khan for asking the anti-graft watchdog to investigate Panama leaks, claiming the PTI chief withdrew his demand for a Supreme Court-led investigation after his sister was named in Panama Papers.
Earlier, the opposition staged a walkout from the National Assembly on the fourth consecutive day to protest against the absence of PM Nawaz.
As the session started, Pakistan Peoples Party’s Naveed Qamar rose and repeated the opposition’s line since the start of this session: “We are walking out of the house until the premier comes to the house.”
Right after the walkout, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Murad Saeed pointed out the lack of quorum to the speaker, who adjourned the proceedings for a while.
PM Nawaz to address parliament after opposition boycott over Panama leaks
On a point of order, several lawmakers talked about the May 12, 2007 carnage, when dozens of people were killed in Karachi on the arrival of the then chief justice.
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai voiced concern that neither courts nor successive governments had made any effort to probe the killings or to arrest the culprits. Railways Minister Saad Rafique condemned the May 12 incident but also attacked the PTI without naming it. “Some people here have a serious problem with democracy but they are not democratic people but political actors,” he said.
“I am still a firm believer of the fact that worst democracy is better than best dictatorship,” he said.
Courtesy : Express Tribune