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Parliament session begins, PM to answer questions regarding Panama Leaks

Parliament session begins, PM to answer questions regarding Panama Leaks

ISLAMABAD: The most important and crucial session of the Parliament has begun at 5.00 pm and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is due to attend it to answer the questions of the opposition on the PanamaLeaks.

The opposition members are awaiting PM Nawaz’s arrival in the National Assembly to discuss the Panama Papers. The questions will also be asked from the government representatives on the issue.

The prime minister, who returned from Istanbul late on Sunday afternoon after attending the wedding of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s daughter, had an informal chat with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar late in the evening who has returned from Dubai after having useful talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Pakistan’s fiscal issues. They had a discussion on the outcome of talks with the IMF and the fiscal budget for the next year for which proposals are being finalised. The prime minister gave guidelines for the budgetary proposals, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to undertake legislation on accountability in the light of directives received by the Chief Justice of Pakistan given in his reply on the request of the government for the constitution of an inquiry commission to probe the allegations on the Panama Papers. The legal team of the government under Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid has drawn up outlines for the legislation that would be submitted to the prime minister today, the sources said. The draft worked out would fulfil the requirements pointed out by the chief justice, the sources said.

The sources reiterated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wouldn’t bow to the politics of agitation being pursued by the hawks of the opposition as he believes that he has nothing to hide from the world. “The prime minister accepted every proposal coming from the other side for instituting a probe into the Panama Papers although his name wasn’t part of the list published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). He isn’t obliged to answer each and every objection and question raised by some disgruntled political elements who have earlier subverted the efforts for the establishment of an inquiry commission. He will offer an olive branch to the opposition yet another time for the sake of progress and stability in the country,” the sources maintained.

It is likely that the prime minister will announce the constitution of a joint committee of the two houses of parliament to thrash out the allegations on the Panama Leaks and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq could be authorised to designate members of the committee.

Parliamentary sources said that all groups constituting the opposition in the National Assembly have given a firm undertaking that they would behave during the address of the prime minister in the National Assembly. A debate would be allowed subsequently on the address and the leaders from the opposition would also be provided an opportunity to express their views.

The National Assembly speaker has warned the members that anyone who uses unparliamentary language will be thrown out. It is expected that the government would again write to the apex court for the formation of a commission in accordance to the guidelines enumerated by the highest court of the country.

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