KARACHI: The opposition rejected the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the inquiry commission and declared that the Prime Minister’s address was a repetition of past promises.
Opposition Leader of National Assembly and senior member of the Pakistan People’s Party said on Friday at an emergency press conference he held at his Sukkur residence that if the government does not consult the opposition on the ToRs for the commission, they will protest.
He demanded a forensic audit by an international agency to investigate allegations of the Panama Leaks.
“We had asked the government to write a letter to the Chief Justice, but we had also demanded that the government discuss the ToRs with us. If the government will not consult us, we will not accept their decision of writing a letter to the CJ as well,” he said.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan described Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address as “unsatisfactory”.
“We don’t accept the government’s ToRs. This is not the commission the opposition parties had been seeking to investigate the Panama Leaks,” he said. Aitzaz said the opposition parties were not taken into confidence on the ToRs.
The PPP Secretary Information, Qamar Zaman Kaira, said the prime minister’s address was centred on self-praise. “It should have been a policy statement about corruption, the prime minister chose to target and taunt the opposition parties and indulge into personal attacks,” he said. He said that Nawaz Sharif should have told the nation that he himself was brought into politics by a dictator.
Spokesman for the PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said there was nothing new in the prime minister’s speech. He said it was no more than a personal explanation at the public expense. He said the prime minister alluded to a connection between General Musharraf’s accountability and calls for his stepping down. This needs to be elucidated, Senator Babar said.
The PTI chief Imran Khan said the government should settle ToRs in presence of all political parties of the country if it was serious in transparent probe.
Imran did not accept the second address of the PM to nation and said that Nawaz has told his own tales but the actual problem is where has the money gone. He said all the matters would be unveiled if forensic audit was conducted. “The statement of the COAS regarding corruption has mounted pressure on the PM. He sees democracy facing threat whenever corruption matter is raised,” Imran said while talking to a news channel. Imran said in his view the chief justice would not accept TORs without the consensus of political parties.
Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq welcomed the prime minister’s announcement for writing to the chief justice for setting up an inquiry commission but demanded that ToRs of the commission should be decided with a complete agreement with the opposition so that the doors of corruption could be closed for ever. He said it was a step in the right direction although it was much delayed, but it was the victory of the nation.
Siraj, however, said that the bitterness in the PM’s address was misplaced as the allegations in the Panama Leaks had not been levelled by the opposition but were in fact an international disclosure. He said that there was a tradition of voluntary resignations in the wake of such allegations but the prime minister had not opted that way. He said that the crisis should be resolved within the minimum time so that the time of the nation was not wasted.
Awami Muslim League head Sheikh Rashid lamented that the prime minister resorted to personal attacks against Imran Khan instead of responding to allegations against his family.