Govt to make fresh bid to end deadlock on ToRs

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—As the opposition parties are all set to up the ante on Panama Papers after Eidul Fitr, the government has prepared a strategy to engage them to end the prevailing deadlock on Terms of Reference (ToRs) for investigation into the Panama leaks.
According to reliable sources, the government has once again asked Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to play conciliatory role between the ruling and opposition parties, and woo back Pakistan People’s Party back to the parliamentary committee which earlier at a party meeting in the capital had announced to leave the committee on the pretext that the government is not serious in holding investigation into the leaks.
It is worth mentioning that the parliamentary committee has held eight inconclusive meetings with ruling and opposition parties sticking to their stance. The opposition parties demand start of investigation from the prime minister and his family while the ruling PML (N) wants an across the board accountability.
According to sources, the PML (N) has decided to sort out the issues with the opposition within the parliament. “It has been decided that the PML (N) side will attentively listen to the reservations of the opposition parties and effort will be made to convince them to its viewpoint on the basis of arguments, the sources said, adding in this regard the services of combined friends will also be utilized.
The sources said that the speaker National Assembly will soon contact Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah after holding consultation with the relevant PML (N) leaders on the matter of ToRs.
The sources said that consultation will also be held with the opposition parties over the appointment of new election commission members.
The sources both within the ruling and opposition parties say there is desire to sort out the issue of Panama papers investigation in an amicable manner but for this the two sides will have to demonstrate flexibility.
The leaders of PTI and PPP while talking to Pakistan Observer said they want to end the stalemate on the issue of ToRs but for this the government will also have to demonstrate sincerity and seriousness, and have to shun the course of protecting the family of the PM. They said the opposition parties want investigation of all those leaders and people whose names have been revealed in Panama Papers but this process should start from the PM.
Separately talking to this correspondent, the PML (N) leaders however were critical of the opposition’s stance saying the opposition do not want investigation into Panama papers but only want to target the personality of Nawaz Sharif for political point scoring and vested interests.
They said under the new strategy, an utmost effort will be made that both the sides listen to each other’s point of view and arrive at a consensus decision. They were confident that consensus will be reached with the opposition parties on the matter.

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