Politicking on Panama Papers

OPPOSITION lawmakers on Thursday managed to get their own version of Panama Papers Inquiries Bill 2016 passed from the upper house of Parliament merely on the basis of brute majority as the PPP-dominated house rejected all amendments proposed by PML-N Senators and ignored impassioned calls from Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq to hold further deliberations on the bill in connection with formation of a commission. Similar behaviour was adopted when the Committee was considering the bill where treasury benches were denied fair opportunity to move any amendments.
Passage of the bill in question by the Senate is inconsequential and insignificant and seems to be mere politicking, otherwise, the opposition should have incorporated, at least, some of the amendments proposed by the treasury. It is known to the opposition as well that their bill would never become an act of Parliament without support of the PML-N, which has two-thirds majority in the lower house and it is obvious that the bill, when referred to the National Assembly, would be rejected. The Government has its own version of the bill and it is understandable that the opposition is not supporting it and wants the bill moved by it to become the law so as to tighten noose around the neck of PML-N Government alone and leave others, involved in corruption and corrupt practices, aside. This is not a just approach and amounts to lip service to much-talked-about issue of corruption and accountability. Rampant corruption in federal and provincial governments is most serious challenge and the country cannot progress at the desired pace until and unless effective across-the-board measures are taken to eradicate this menace forever. The outgoing Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali too has pointed out that there is unbridled corruption in national institutions but regrettably, the judiciary has so far not taken any tangible measure to address the problem. It is time all concerned shun rhetoric and join hands in drawing up an effective strategy to curb corruption and hold the corrupt accountable without any exception.

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