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June 15, 2016

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Eighth meeting ends with no consensus on ToRs

Eighth meeting ends with no consensus on ToRs

Govt, opposition stick to their stands; Bilawal says no agreement will be made with Nawaz and PPP will go to masses if things don’t work out

ISLAMABAD: The eighth meeting of the Parliamentary Committee ended here on Tuesday without arriving at any consensus on the ToRs for the judicial commission probing the PanamaLeaks.

Both the government and the opposition accused each other for the deadlock and refused to show flexibility on their stances.The opposition wanted that accountability should start from the prime minister and his family while the government said only those named in the PanamaLeaks should be held accountable.

According to sources, the government team asked the opposition side to set a date for the committee’s next meeting to which PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi replied that the date for the next meeting would be set after consultations with the other opposition parties.

“There was zero progress in today’s meeting and the situation was the same as it was on the very first day,” said Opposition Leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan while talking to newsmen along with Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other opposition members of the committee.

“It was decided that we should take our leadership into confidence. The united opposition will hold a joint session to formulate a unified strategy. We have shown maximum flexibility but the government is not agreeing to any formula on the ToRs. 

Now we will take up this issue with our leadership to take them into confidence on formulating our future strategy,” he added. Qureshi said there was no progress and now the only one option left with them was to discuss it with their leadership to decide the future course of action.

Talking to newsmen, Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq accused the opposition of deadlock. “On the one hand they sit in the Parliamentary Committee, on the other they threaten to go into streets.”

He said the government and its coalition partners were striving to reach consensus adding that they will not allow anyone to impose any dictatorial thinking,” he said. Khawaja Saad Rafiq said the two opposition parties were targeting Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour on his behalf circulated among the members copies of a document titled “The additional powers of the commission”. The government side again circulated among the members copies of a document beginning with: “The Inquiry Commission shall have the following Terms of Reference”.

Senators Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Aitzaz Ahsan, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Muhammad Ali Saif and Ilyas Ahmad Bilour and MNAs Zahid Hamid, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Akram Khan Durrani, Ms. Anusha Rehman Khan Advocate, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Sahibzada Tariqullah and Ch. Tariq Bashir Cheema attended the meeting as the committee members.  

Meanwhile, the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday said there would be no reconciliation with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the issue of PanamaLeaks. Bilawal said the PPP will not soften its stance on the issue and no agreement will be made with Nawaz. 

He said the PPP would reconcile with the opposition and not the government. "We will not let the government flee this time," he said. The PPP chairman also advised his party members to stand firm if the government does not accept the opposition’s ToRs. 

“If things did not work out at the parliamentary forum, then the party would go to the masses,” he added. Bilawal said by rejecting the ToRs of the opposition, the government was paving way for the opposition to take to the streets.

 

 

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