ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has constituted a 12-member parliamentary committee to decide which forum should hold investigation into Panama Papers revelations and decide terms of Reference (ToRs) as well as decide timeline for the task.
A notification in this regard was issued on Tuesday with the committee scheduled to hold its first meeting on Wednesday and complete its task within two weeks.
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The body has been constituted nearly a week after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced in his parliamentary address that the panel, with equal representation the government and the opposition, would formulate ToRs to probe the scandal.
Leaked documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama last month showed the premier’s three children – sons, Hassan and Hussain, and his daughter, Maryam – owned at least three offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.
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Finalised names of committee members
Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, MNA Khawaja Muhammad Asif, MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique, MNA Akram Khan Durrani, MNA Anusha Rehman Khan Advocate, MNA Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi, MNA Sahibzada Tariqullah and MNA Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema.
Composition and ToRs
According to the notification issued by the NA Secretariat, the committee shall;
Consider options for inquiring into important issues raised by Panama Papers and other reports in the media regarding (i) Offshore companies (ii) Transfer from Pakistan the funds originating from corruption, commissions or kick-backs; and (iii) Written-off bank loans, with priorities to be determined by the committee and recommend the most appropriate such forum.
Formulate the ToRs of such forum and determine the timeline for submission of the report. The committee shall be constituted by nominees six each of the government and opposition from both Houses. The speaker may replace any member of the committee on the request of the parliamentary party concerned. The committee shall submit its report to the Parliament within two weeks.
The financial scandal lately has seen the government and the opposition, mainly Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), organise mass rallies to garner public support for their respective stances.
Though the premier has written to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to form a judicial commission probing the leaks, the opposition has been insisting on mutually agreed terms of reference.
Courtesy : Express Tribune