ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Thursday approved forming a 12-member parliamentary committee after the opposition rejected a 16-member body to form joint Terms of References (TOR) in Panama leaks issue.
According to the resolution, the committee will submit its report in the Parliament within two weeks.
Government nominated seven names including Zahid Hamid as ex-officio member. Whereas the opposition, named six members to negotiate TORs with the government.
However, increase in the number of each side’s representatives was proposed but was rejected by the opposition. It was proposed that the government and the opposition contribute eight members each.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), having 25 members in the National Assembly was neglected. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vice-chairman, Shah Mehmood Qureshi while discussing the issue in the assembly said that the MQM was a part of joint opposition in Panama leaks issue all through the course until recently and thus it should have contacted the opposition for representation in the committee and not the government.
Qureshi’s statement came after Federal Minister Ishaq Dar disclosed to the participants that certain MQM members had contacted him earlier seeking representation in the parliamentary committee.
On the other hand, MQM’s Syed Asif Hasnain demanded fair representation in the proceedings as part of the Parliament. Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique denounced depriving MQM of representation on an important development in Panama leaks issue.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had recommended formation of a parliamentary committee, during his address on Monday, to negotiate TORs for Panama leaks probe with the opposition. Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly, Khurshid Shah announced accepting the proposal and called off the boycott of the Senate and the National Assembly.