Protestors haunted by 2018 polls prospects: Dar

Islamabad—Minister for Finance, Revenue, Statistics and Economic Affairs Muhammad Ishaq Dar on Friday said despite all positive overtures of the government some political leaders want to obstruct the economic growth through rallies and protests as they are haunted by 2018 elections.
‘We made utmost effort to resolve the issue amicably. But, I feel that 2018 is haunting some political leaders. These leaders are obsessed with will to grab power and are trying to frustrate the system,’ he said in an interview.
‘Some political leaders are once again trying to obstruct the economic growth like they did during their 126 days sit-in in front of the Parliament. Today again they are taking the same course and it will be very and this will be extremely sad and unfortunate,’ he added.
He said when Panama papers issue surfaced, the Prime Minister addressed the nation and sent letter to Supreme Court for constitution of a Commission. But, the court returned the letter saying that the 1956 law was toothless although number of inquiries including the East Pakistan fiasco and Osama bin Laden incident were investigated under the same Commission.
Therefore, the government in line with the Supreme Court directions has submitted a proposed law to the Parliament that include some powerful section that will help investigate the Panama papers issue and more issues surfacing in future, Dar said.
The minister stated that both the points raised by the Supreme Court in its reply about gathering specific record and bringing in a new law, have been addressed in this bill.
He said the meeting summoned by the Speaker for August 09, to discuss ToR was canceled due to Quetta blast but the opposition without waiting for the new date all of a sudden submitted a bill to the Senate. ‘So, the government also had to submit, its bill. We tried our level best to resolve the issue but opposition changed the track.’
Dar said the government tried to defuse the crisis but crises are defused when both sides inclination is constructive and approach is non-political. ‘Had the opposition agreed with the government, we could have brought an ordinance to save the time.’
He said the opposition has introduced one family specific law but it cannot by pass the resolution of the Senate and National Assembly. ‘If the government accepts their proposed law, it would mean that we shall be giving immunity to people other than the family of the Prime Minister who own offshore companies and have been receiving commissions and kick backs and had written off bank loans.’
The minister said, the bill presented by the government is a comprehensive bill and, ‘if we need to weed out corruption than we shall have to enact a comprehensive law and our proposed law is comprehensive.’
He asked the opposition to have mercy on people and let the country progress. ‘We had proposed a good law to the opposition proposing that Commission would have powers to look into Income Tax, Wealth Tax, ROPA and SECP related laws and all other relevant laws.’ —APP

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