Opp considers resigning from Parliament

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Px03-045 ISLAMABAD: May03 - Senator Aitzaz Ahsan talks to media persons after a meeting at his residence. Hamid Khan, Sherry Rehman and Qamar Zaman Kaira are also present on the occasion. ONLINE PHOTO by S M Sohail

Govt prepares strategy to ‘shut up’ opposition

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—In a surprise development, the opposition parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which appeared to be divided over demanding resignation from the Prime Minister on Panama disclosures, are considering to resign from the National Assembly, Senate and the provincial assemblies if the government did not sit with them in order to firm up a joint and consensus Terms of Reference for investigation into Panama disclosures.
According to senior sources within the opposition parties, the main opposition parties were compelled to mull over this option after the ruling coalition parties meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday totally discarded the TORs proposed by the opposition. However, this meeting had agreed to form a joint committee of coalition partners to contact the opposition on the TORs.
The Prime Ministers remarks on investigation into Panama papers are just lip service. Had he been interested in the investigation of his familys offshore holdings, he would not have opposed our TORs, a senior leader of opposition parties said on condition of anonymity.
The senior leaders of opposition parties, were, however quick to add that they expect that sanity will prevail within the government ranks and instead of pushing the opposition to go for the extreme position of resignations, will sit with the opposition parties to chalk out the TORs.
We are ready to review our TORs if the government sit with us. But one thing is clear that investigation into Panama leaks should start from the house of the prime minister, a member of the opposition leader said.
According to political analysts, the opposition parties should refrain from such a course as it will not weaken the system and not serve the purpose of democracy. They were confident that both the government and opposition parties will sit together to settle the dust.
Meanwhile, sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate are beginning from today and the government has prepared a strategy to shut up the opposition on the issue of Panama papers. According to sources within the government, both the houses have already held discussion on the Panama papers and they would not allow the opposition parties to waste precious time of the parliament on just one issue. There are many issues that need to be discussed, they said adding that the members instead of indulging in mudslinging should give proposals for the upcoming budget to be presented next month.
On the other side the ruling party also decided to write the latter to opposition about the ToRs told sources.

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