Panama Leaks: K-P, district assemblies zero in on PM

MPAs, councillors call for more deliberations, resignations over offshore assets


Our Correspondent April 06, 2016
K-P Assembly. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR:


Revelations by Panama Leaks keep flaming controversy in the country -- all the way to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. As Nawaz Sharif’s kin have been named as owners of undeclared off shore companies/assets, members of the K-P Assembly demand a special sitting while the city district assembly demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation.


Adjournment motion

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker from Peshawar, Mehmood Jan, on Wednesday submitted an adjournment motion in the K-P Assembly, seeking a separate day to discuss the Panama Leaks.

In his adjournment motion—a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune—Jan states the presence of certain politicians in Panama Leaks has besmirched the dignity of Pakistan which is why members of the house should be given time to express their views on the issue. “Under the K-P Assembly rules of business, the house should call for a special session on the matter,” reads the application submitted to the speaker.

It added Pakistan was created after innumerable sacrifices and holds an important position in the world, but politicians exposed in the leaks have tarnished its dignity.

A slogan of old

The district assembly hall echoed with “go Nawaz go” after PTI members demanded the resignation of Nawaz on Wednesday.

PTI district councillor Mina Khan Afridi and 12 other members moved a joint resolution against Nawaz, whose family is said to own several high-value offshore companies.

“The prime minister and his family are involved in the embezzlement of billions of rupees. Nawaz and his family are exploiting his position in the country for personal gains,” Mina said while presenting the resolution. “How can we convince foreign businessmen to invest in Pakistan if our own leaders do not invest here?”

Mina added, “If the prime minister of Iceland had the moral courage to resign after his name was brought up in the leaks, why shouldn’t ours show similar courage?”

By-laws

Convener Syed Qasim Ali Shah was also present; the whole house unanimously approved model by-laws. The naib nazim said amendments would be possible in these if needed.

Akhtar Ali, a councillor from Budhni, raised the issue of education and complained the government kept no checks and balances. “A primary school teacher in Bela Niko Khan was present for only 27 days in the past 27 years,” Ali said. “We have a building for Gulo Zai government school but due to its closure, the girls are forced to study in the premises of a private house for the past 15 years.”

The NADRA block

NADRA should reconsider its policy of blocking identity cards as it creates many problems for the people in the province, said one councillor.

Saeedur Rehman Safi echoed similar sentiments, saying district nazim Muhammad Asim Khan formed an insignificant committee to deal with NADRA.

Another member from Shahjiabad said NADRA and security agencies should speed up the verification process of the Computerised National Identity Cards.

Women members of the district assembly also raised a voice for the empowerment of women.

A councillor from PTI, Gul Nasreen, said the convener had a non-serious attitude towards the women of the assembly.

“There is no proper room for women at the district council hall for prayers,” said Nasreen. “If [district] members do not have rights, how can they facilitate the women in their constituencies?” she questioned.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th,  2016.

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