Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Opposition parties in the National Assembly and the Senate have announced that they will boycott parliamentary proceedings unless Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif briefs both houses about his family’s properties and offshore assets.

While participating in debate on the issue of Panama Papers, Leader of the Opposition in the NA, Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah and Opposition Leader in the Senate, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan both called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take Parliament into confidence on the issue.

They added that the opposition believes in democracy and the supremacy of the Parliament.

Khursheed Shah claimed that the Terms of Reference of the opposition were not Prime Minister specific and applied equally to all those named in Panama Papers.

On the same issue, Mahmood Qureshi of PTI said the government and the opposition should sit together to discuss TORs for the proposed commission to inquire into the findings of the Panama Papers specific to Pakistan.

Daniyal Aziz of PML-N pointed out that immediately after release of Panama Papers, the Prime Minister volunteered himself and his family for accountability.

He said the opposition did not expect that the government would go for a commission of Supreme Court Judges but the government opted for that to come clear on charges leveled against it.

He said that the TORs drafted by the government were more comprehensive than those drafted by the opposition. He said that the opposition had failed to relay constructive criticism of the TORs framed by the government.

The Opposition members staged a walkout from the House on the plea that the Prime Minister should take the Parliament into confidence over Panama Papers.

The Speaker sent Ministers thrice to persuade the opposition to re-join the proceedings but they did not oblige, and announced that their boycott of parliamentary proceedings would continue until their demands are met.