Pakistan Peoples Party against formation of Panama commission by SC

Islamabad [Pakistan], Nov. 2 : Formation of an inquiry commission by the Pakistan Supreme Court on the Panamagate scam has been opposed the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Aitzaz Ahsan.

He asked the judges to themselves decide the case "on the basis of the terms of reference (ToR) contained in the bill submitted by the opposition" in parliament.

Stating that the Supreme Court in the past had constituted commissions under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, Ahsan held that such a commission on the Panama Papers leaks would further delay the inquiry process.

"There are precedents of formation of the commissions by the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) like Memo Commission and a commission on media.

But in our opinion, in this (Panama) case, the commission should not be constituted," the Dawn quoted senior PPP leader as saying.

"If you want to decide the case quickly, then the SC should decide the case itself on the basis of the ToR contained in the opposition's bill," the senator added.

Ahsan was speaking to the reporters at his Parliament House chamber here on Monday. Alleging that the government wanted to delay the inquiry process in the Panamagate case, the Leader of the Opposition said that this was clear from the fact that its lawyers had sought two weeks' time from the court to submit documents about the Sharif family's properties in foreign countries and details of money trail.

The rulers wanted to seek more time so that they could "doctor and fabricate" the documents, he added.

He said that there is a consensus on the ToR and draft of the bill by all opposition parties, which would be taken up by the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Tuesday.

The PPP senator further said that the future of the opposition's Panama bill will depend on the government which had majority in the National Assembly.

Javed Abbasi headed Senate standing committee will be taking up the "Panama Papers Inquiries Act 2016" introduced in the Senate on September 26 by Ahsan following the opposition managing to defeat the government by a margin of 13 votes in the voting.

The bill is being taken by the committee at a time when the Supreme Court has already announced that it will itself prepare the ToR for the proposed commission to investigate the offshore companies set up by hundreds of Pakistanis, including the children of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as revealed by the Panama Papers.

The bill has already been rejected by the government as "infructuous and useless." Meanwhile, the opposition is of the view that parliament cannot be stopped by the Supreme Court from doing legislation.

According to the bill, the commission will have to first investigate Prime Minister Sharif and his family members before going on against the other Pakistanis named in the Panama Papers.

Source: ANI