ISLMABAD:The joint opposition parties comprise members of Pakistan People Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party Awami (BNP-A) and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q). They all strongly condemned forwarding the Panama Paper bill to the Senate Chairman, after the Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice conducted voting to either forward the bill to
Opposition parties in a legislative body of Upper House of Parliament on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration in front of Parliament House, seeking the passage of “The Panama papers inquiries bill 2016”. The joint opposition parties, except Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), protested against referring the bill by the chairman Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice to chairman senate (Raza Rabbani) to take his viewpoint regarding matter.
senate chairman or pass it. The joint opposition termed the move an effort to protect Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family from accountability.
The committee referred the bill to the Senate Chairman with three votes in favour and three in support of sending the bill to Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani for his point of view. The opposition senators chanted slogans against the government in the committee room after the bill was referred to Raza Rabbani.
Talking to journalists outside Parliament House, Senator Taj Haider said the joint opposition, like Supreme Court of Pakistan, wanted to started accountability from the prime minister, but the government was using various delaying tactics to protect the prime minister and his family. “When parliament does not fulfill its obligations, then the Supreme Court and other forces come forward,” he said, adding that legislation was the job of parliament. He said that opposition wants to bring a unanimous bill regarding accountability in order to eradicate the menace of corruption in the country. Haider told the government to support the bill; otherwise, opposition parties would continue their protest till the government approved it.
Later, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid, talking to journalists outside Parliament House, said that he suggested the opposition parties delay the discussion over the “Panama papers inquiries bill 2016” in respect of the Supreme Court as the issue was pending before the SC.
“The government believes in the supremacy of the parliament but does not want to take up the bill in respect of the apex court,” he said. He further said that if opposition wanted to present this bill with some amendments, then under the law, the relevant forum would give them a two-day notice. The opposition would need to bring their amendments to the bill in writing and then the government would discuss it with the concerned authorities.