ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Thursday decided to quit the 12-member joint parliamentary committee formed to draft consensus term of reference (ToRs) for investigation into revelations made by Panama Papers and also advised all the opposition parties to do the same.
A meeting of the party’s senior leadership held here at the Zardari House under the chairmanship of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also decided to file an application in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and a reference in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Speaking to media after the meeting, Aitzaz Ahsan said the opposition provided prime minister an opportunity to clear his name but the government members of the committee always kept insisting on removal of his name from the ToRs.
To a question that if forming of the parliamentary committee was a mistake, the PPP leader said that it cannot be termed as such as it has showed the true face of the rulers. “Nawaz Sharif proudly said in parliament and his Bannu and Haripur rallies that he has presented himself and his family for accountability but now he has been exposed before the masses,” he said.
Aitzaz said he wants to bring all opposition parties on ‘one container’.
The meeting expressed grave concern over foot dragging by the ruling coalition from its stance of carrying forward the investigation into Panama leaks and warned the government that this attitude could result in serious political repercussions. “The ruling party has been thoroughly exposed and in its bid to protect an individual from accountability it is resorting to dangerous brinkmanship which can result in serious consequences,” a spokesman quoted Bilawal Bhutto as having told the meeting.
Stressing the need for an impartial and effective accountability mechanism in the country, the meeting vowed to vigorously pursue the Panama scandal, the spokesperson said, and added that the meeting also stressed the need for unity in the opposition ranks in formulating a robust and credible response to the ruling coalition sidetracking the issue.
Sardar Latif Khosa briefed the meeting on the dossiers for filing petition before the ECP as well as reference in the NAB for disqualification of the prime minister. It was decided in the meeting that both petition before the ECP and reference with NAB will be filed by Latif Khosa on behalf of the PPP at the earliest.
Senator Farhatullah Babar told the media that the meeting has decided to consult all the parties on the situation arising out of the government bid to discourage the parliamentary committee from ensuring credible, effective and across the board accountability of all those involved in the scandal.
The meeting condemned the kidnapping of the son of Sindh High Court chief justice and the targeted assassination of Amjad Sabri Qawwal in Karachi in quick succession.
Expressing concern over these incidents, the meeting called for investigating whether the spurt in the incidents of targeting high-profile and high-value individuals was part of some larger design of the militants and their backers.
The meeting also reviewed the re-organization matters of the party in all the provinces and directed the respective provincial coordination committees to step up the reorganization process in accordance with the guidelines already issued in this regard.