SC asks Govt, PTI to furnish ToRs

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Formation of Panama Commission

PML-N, PTI welcome apex court proceedings, Imran changes lockdown into thanksgiving day

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad—Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday asked Paki-stan Muslim League (N) and the PTI to submit the Terms of Reference (ToRs) on formation of the commission to probe Panama Leaks.
During proceedings on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan showed their inclination for the formation of the commission.
The commission will report to the Supreme Court, the court said, adding the commission will hold powers equal to the Su-preme Court.
Adjourning the hearing till 11:30 PM on November 3, the apex court directed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to submit their reply over the Panama Leaks case in two days.
Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali asked both parties to “show restraint,” as he remarked that the issue would now be resolved by the Supreme Court.
The five member larger bench maintained all parties will be given an opportunity to state their views. The bench said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf should adopt a more responsible ap-proach towards the issue adding that all eyes were on this high-profile case.
Justice Asif Saeed Khosa observed that no state institution in-cluding the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated an investigation into the Panama Leaks case. He added if an in-dividual cannot justify his assets according to his income then an inquiry should be initiated.
Justice Amir Hani Muslim said if money from the country is going abroad then NAB can intervene.
PTI’s lawyer Hamid Khan said an agreement had been reached on the commission to investigate the Panama Leaks case. He added that if there was no consensus on the ToRs, the Supreme Court will finalize them.
PML-N leader and the country’s defence minister, Khawaja Asif said his party had surrendered to the decision of the Su-preme Court.
“In the present situation it is crucial for all parties to show faith in the Supreme Court.”
Meanwhile, on the decision of the Supreme Court, the PTI postponed its planned ‘lockdown’ of the federal capital on No-vember 2.
During his address in Bani Gala, PTI chief Imran Khan told party workers to go home rest and reach Parade Ground to-morrow at 2 PM where Youm-e-Tashakur would be celebrated.
“We will gather one million people in Parade Ground tomor-row,” Khan said.
Khan stated that the protest had been called off as the Supreme Court had started investigation of Panama Leaks.
The PTI chief praised the Supreme Court for summoning a reply from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on November 3.
“I am glad the Supreme Court has directed the prime minister to present himself for accountability,” Khan said.
The PTI chief paid tribute to party workers, especially Pervaiz Khattak and his team.
PTI had announced that it will ‘lockdown’ Islamabad on No-vember 2 to pressure the prime minister face accountability for alleged offshore accounts owned by his family named in the Pa-nama Papers.
The Islamabad High Court in its decision last week asked the PTI to keep the sit-in at a designated area and not block state machinery. However, the PTI remained adamant over staging the sit-in. Other parties including the Pakistan People’s Party which ini-tially formed joint opposition with the PTI had asked it to wait for the Supreme Court hearing.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif says the government will fully respect the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) regarding investigation into the Panama Papers.
Talking to media persons outside the apex court here on Tuesday, he said the court during the hearing of Panama Papers petitions gave a loud and lucid message that it wants probe into the controversy. Whatever course of action it now takes even if it constitutes the commission, we will accept it.
The Defence Minister reminded media that the government had prayed the apex court six months ago about the formation of commission for investigation into matter. Therefore establish-ment of the commission will be endorsement of the govern-ment’s point of view. Khawaja Asif said as the issue of Panama papers is before the court, there is no justification for the street protest. The Defence Minister said after the formation of the commission, the government will also present details of the offshore companies owned by our opponents.

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