- Information Minister Rashid says opposition more interested in having PM in parliament than in having judicial commission
- Opposition to unveil questionnaire for PM today
With the announcement of the federal government that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend the National Assembly session on Friday, the opposition has started preparing questions that will be put to the prime minister concerning his offshore holdings as revealed in the Panama Papers.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid during the National Assembly session on Tuesday announced that the prime minister will attend the proceedings on Friday and reply to questions raised by the opposition.
The opposition on Monday announced to boycott proceedings in both houses of the parliament until the prime minister makes an appearance in the house.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly said that they will attend the session on Friday and stressed that the prime minister should answer the questions raised by the opposition about the Panama Leaks.
PM ON A TWO-DAY VISIT TO TAJIKISTAN:
The information minister said the prime minister leaves on a two-day visit to Tajikistan today (Wednesday). Therefore, he will attend the proceedings of the House on Friday.
The minister said the prime minister is not hesitant to attend the proceedings of the House; rather, he is happy to listen to the opposition members and make a speech.
He recalled that the prime minister has already written to chief justice of Pakistan to set up a commission to probe the Panama Leaks. He said the government has also prepared Terms of Reference (TORs) of the commission.
Rashid said that the prime minister wants to present truth before the commission. However, he regretted that now there is less talk on the commission by the opposition. He said the opposition is now more interested in having the prime minister in the House and speaking on the issue.
Earlier, on a point of order, Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah said the prime minister should take the parliament into confidence on the Panama Papers issue.
He said the opposition wants to maintain the respect and decorum of the House and does not want to vitiate the atmosphere.
The leader of the opposition along with opposition members then staged a walkout from the House saying they will attend the session on Friday.
Lal Chand pointed out the lack of quorum and the proceedings of the House were suspended.
TAREEN HAS TOUGH QUESTIONS FOR PM:
Speaking to media outside the parliament, Khursheed Shah said, “We are striving to strengthen democracy and parliament in the country.”
He said the PM must clear his position and respond to the opposition’s demands regarding judicial investigations into Panama Papers.
“We don’t want any confrontation but the PM should clarify his position and take the parliament into confidence on his assets and tax details,” Shah demanded.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen said that his party will not be satisfied until the prime minister answers the Panama Leaks allegations.
Tareen added that offshore companies are not illegal but the prime minister has to tell where his sons got the money for the companies.
Talking to media in the Parliament House, Tareen said that opposition parties have decided to prepare a questionnaire for PM Nawaz, which will be prepared with consensus on Wednesday.
“The nation wants answers from the PM on how much money his family has invested in offshore properties abroad and where and how that money was gathered and sent abroad,” he said.
Tareen said that the prime minister should also answer the question of how much tax he has paid.
He further added that Shah Mehmood Qureshi will present the questionnaire representing the opposition parties and the PM will have to answer.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Pakistan Muslim League-(Zia) PML-Z Chief Ijazul Haq said that the prime minister was never shy of attending the session of the National Assembly or the Senate.
“It was actually an advice by some of the coalition leaders who advised the PM not to respond the opposition’s questions in the House as the government is already going to answer all these questions before the judicial commission,” he said.
Ijazul Haq said that the PM had made up his mind to attend the session but ill-advice from some of the allies had held him back.