ISLAMABAD: The coalition partners on Saturday put their weight behind Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, rejecting the terms of references (ToRs) framed by combined opposition for the proposed judicial commission, but mandated the prime minister to make further consultations with a view to articulating a comprehensive response to the opposition.
In a meeting chaired by the prime minister, the coalition partners of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), expressed concerns over the attitude of the combined opposition towards the government’s ToRs for the proposed commission.
The prime minister also took the coalition partners into confidence to adopt future discourse in relation to the Panama leaks and stated that his children were ready to face any investigation but would not allow politicising the matter under the pretext of eliminating corruption.
“We expressed our shared concern over the disparity in attitude of some opposition political parties and we noticed it with shock that a retired judge was not acceptable to them to head the commission but they named a retired bureaucrat to lead the investigation,” Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief, along with other leaders of the allied parties told media persons after their meeting.
He said the prime minister who wanted to take the coalition partners into confidence on ToRs was told that coalition partners have serious concerns on ToRs articulated by the opposition.
He said it was allied parties’ first meeting with the prime minister on ToRs, and they have mandated the prime minister to continue consultation process on the matter with a view to preparing a comprehensive response to the opposition’s ToRs.
Describing the opposition’s ToRs as contradictory to the constitution and law, the Maulana regretted that opposition parties have adopted a contradictory stance on the investigation into the Panama Papers.
He called upon the opposition parties to make their demands in accordance with the parameters of the constitution, and democratic norms and traditions. Soon after the matter surfaced, he said the prime minister announced formation of a commission under the supervision of retired judges but the opposition refused to accept his decision.
He said, all the democratic people have a sense of commitment with constitution and they have concerns over any undemocratic step. He pointed out that it was on the demand of the opposition parties that the prime minister wrote a letter to the Chief Justice for formation of a commission. The opposition is trying to make the ToRs controversial,” he said, adding the opposition has always “backtracked” with regard to investigations into the Panama leaks.
Besides, JUI-F chief, the meeting was attended by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Mir Hasil Bizenjo of National Party (NP), Ejazul Haq of his own PML-Zia. Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif also attended the meeting.