Opposition seeks Speaker’s guarantee before it sits in TORs committee


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan representing a joint opposition on Wednesday said the Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq must guarantee the centre would show flexibility on the Terms of References (ToRs) proposed by the opposition before they join the ToRs committee.

Briefing the media along with PPP’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi after a meeting in the capital to finalise the ToRs for a proposed inquiry commission to investigate the Panama Papers leaks, Aitzaz Ahsan clarified that the final decision about joining the government party in the committee would be taken only after consultation with key opposition players.

He stressed that the joint opposition including Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has already shown enough maturity beyond what was required on the issue and it was government’s turn to show flexibility before things go completely against them and their government.
He was of the opinion that the government didn’t pay attention to recommendations of opposition despite eight seats, adding that the incumbent wanted to save Prime Minister and his family. He further said that the decision to sit in TORs committee will be taken after taking all stakeholders into confidence, adding that accountability should be started from top post.

Opposition leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the stance of opposition has gotten strong with the passage of time, adding that the government attempted to influence their stance. He further said that protest of PTI is not a solo flight as it has support of opposition parties, clarifying that the government failed to break alliance of opposition.

Key party members of a united opposition particularly Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf attended the crucial meeting.

The meeting deliberated on putting forward a new law on ToRs against the government’s suggested ‘Inquiry act 1956’ and resuming talks with the government party on the leaks probe.
The opposition parties discussed the option of resuming talks with the government after it received an invitation from the speaker national assembly to join the ToRs committee. However, they earlier had decided not to participate in the committee.

Earlier, PPP and PTI had rejected the ‘Inquiry act 1956’ proposed by the ruling PML-N government in a bid to help investigate the Panama Papers’ leaks.

According to Ahsan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz added only one clause in the proposed law, which cannot do justice with the infamous leaks probe. PPP leader Khursheed Shah also took the attendees of the meeting into confidence over his recent talks with the Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in which they both had agreed bringing a new law on the table instead of the ‘Inquiry act 1956’.

PPP, PTI and allied parties are ramping up pressure on the premier by pursuing various means to have him disqualified from the National Assembly for allegedly hiding his assets in the wake of the Panama Papers Leaks.