ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Friday resumed discussion on matters arising out of Panama Papers.
Taking part in the debate, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the international consortium of investigative journalists has published these leaks, which also include revelations about 200 Pakistanis.
He expressed satisfaction that there is consensus among the opposition and treasury benches about investigation into the Panama Papers. He said the opposition wants a fully empowered commission, which could unmask the whole truth before the nation.
He clarified that our aim is not to indulge in mud-slinging but to bring the facts before the public. He said that a commission headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan should be constituted, which should be assisted by an international firm having experience of forensic audit to carry out the probe forward. He said it is not appropriate to target only the Prime Minister and his family on the matter, as Panama Papers also include the names of several other Pakistanis, including politicians.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad regretted the negative campaign against the family of the Prime Minister in the wake of Panama Papers. He said this family has a history of doing business even before the partition of sub-continent.
He said several cases were registered against the family but it came out clean in all of them. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has a vision to transform the country into an economic power, which is free of power outages. He said the adverse campaign has been started at the international level in order to create obstacles in the forward march of Pakistan. Some forces do not want completion of strategically located Gwadar Port and other infrastructure projects launched by the present government.
The Minister said the PML-N enjoys popular support among the masses because of its development-oriented policies.
Meanwhile, two bills were laid before the House.
These are “The Companies Appointment of Legal Advisors Amendment Bill, 2016”, and “The Central Law Officers Amendment Bill, 2016”.
The bills were moved by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid.
Shazia Marri of Pakistan People’s Party said it was unfortunate and painful that Pakistan’s name was being used at international level in Panama leaks and in terms of scandal of tax evasion and money laundering.
She said that now no suo-motto was being taken by any court on this mega leaks.
She said that this was not mere an opposition but an international issue and world media was focusing on it.
Marri said that people were very angry over misuse of public money and national exchequer.
She was of the view that credit of restoration of democracy in the country went to Pakistan People’s Party.
She said that Axact Company which paid over Rs one billion taxes was closed immediately and its senior officials were put behind the bar but no action has yet taken after Panama scandal and termed it double standard.
Asif Husnain of Muttahida Qaumi Movement said that Articles 62 and 63 were breached by non-declaration of assets after Panama leaks.
He said that Pakistan was borrowing money for its budget but rich were sending money abroad through illegal means.
He demanded that parliament should decide who would be included in the independent commission for investigating the Panama leaks.
He said that looted money and making illegal asset abroad in Swiss banks and other countries should also be brought to the country.
An impartial commission should be constituted immediacy, he demanded.