SUKKUR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had nearly succumbed to the pressure created in the wake of Imran Khan’s dharna and was ready to step down, but the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) talked him out of it, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Ahmed Shah disclosed late Friday night.
On Saturday, Shah appealed to the government to include the opposition’s clauses in the terms of references otherwise it would be left with no other option but to formulate its own terms and call an all parties conference in this regard.
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Earlier, Khursheed Shah appreciated the prime minister’s move to submit a letter to the chief justice, describing it as a victory for parliament.
Talking to the media at his residence, Shah pointed out that the prime minister had addressed the nation twice on the Panama Papers and tried to sow doubts in the people’s minds about the whole affair.
According to him, the judicial commission could only prove fruitful if it was empowered to carry out a forensic audit. “Because nobody will be able to get proofs from Panama, it is essential to carry out a forensic audit of the data,” he said.
“If, in your opinion, former president General Pervez Musharraf had done something wrong, why did you allow him to leave the country?” he asked.
Shah said: “We are against reviving the politics of 1990s and at the same time we are committed to safeguard the parliament and democracy.”
Khursheed Shah said: “I will pray that the prime minister can prove his innocence.”
He also endorsed the action initiated by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Shareef.
Brainstorming over ToRs
Opposition parties have started brainstorming over draft their own ToRs, it emerged on Saturday.
Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah addressed a news conference at his residence, reiterating that the opposition would not accept government’s ToRs, urging the government to include their input.
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According to Shah, opposition parties would compile ToRs with full honesty.
Sources in the PPP said that the leader of the opposition would start consulting other political parties next week and if the government continued to resist, then opposition parties would draft their own ToRs. Senator Aitzaz Ahsan is likely to draft it, they agreed.
However, PPP’s information secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira told The Express Tribune that the opposition’s first priority was to force the government to include the opposition’s input. “It is premature to say that PPP’s Senator Aitzaz Ahsan will finalise the opposition’s ToRs, because it will be finalised after we call APC,” said Kaira.
The opposition leader will meet PTI vice chairman, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, MQM parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar, senior Pakistan Muslim League-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi and other political leaders next week in this regard.
Interestingly, JUI-F, a coalition partner of the ruling PML-N, seemed to agree with the opposition’s suggestion.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2016.
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