PPP rejects SC mediation on Panama leaks

“We hold the Supreme Court of Pakistan in high esteem, but the solution to the Panama leaks should come from the Parliament,” PPP’s Central Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira told The Nation.

130594-QamarZamanKaira-1369345352-469-640x480

LAHORE – One of the main Opposition parties in the Parliament, the PPP, has rejected the Supreme Court decision to pass a verdict on the Panama leaks, and instead sought solution to the conflict by the Parliament.

“We hold the Supreme Court of Pakistan in high esteem, but the solution to the Panama leaks should come from the Parliament,” PPP’s Central Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira told The Nation.

Giving reasons for his party’s objections to Tuesday’s decision by the apex court, the PPP leader said that the Supreme Court had already declared the law under which the judicial commission would be formed as weak and faulty.

He was referring to the Commission of Inquiries Act, 1956 under which the proposed judicial commission was to be formed.

Kaira suggested that the Supreme Court should refer the matter to the Parliament for new legislation which empowers the judicial commission to investigate into the Panama leaks.

“After Parliament’s legislation, the Supreme Court may later constitute a Judicial Commission which is fully empowered to take up the matter”, he added.

He said that the Supreme Court had ruled in its judgment that it would frame its own Terms of Reference for the proposed judicial commission if the Opposition and the government failed to come up with an agreed draft of the ToRs.

In this way, he added, the court will have to follow the existing law which as per its previous judgment was weak and imperfect.

Kaira also said that PPP believed that Supreme Court should not interfere into political matters.

This will raise questions on its neutrality, he argued.

The PPP leader further stated that Parliament was supreme over all other institutions including the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

It merits mention here that the ruling PML-N and the PTI have welcomed the apex court decision to settle this issue lingering on since April this year. The PTI on Tuesday called off its planned sit-in at the capital expressing full confidence in the Supreme Court. The government has also declared to abide by its decisions.

Also, PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted late Tuesday that his party will only accept a Judicial Commission which is based on the Panama Bill passed by the Senate.

He said that it was time for democratic accountability.

“We will only accept Commission if TORs are based on Panama Bill once its passed by Parliament. It’s time for “Democratic Accountability”.

Meanwhile, commenting on Imran Khan’s decision to call off his party’s planned sit-in in Islamabad, another senior PPP leader Senator Farhatullah Babar said he had strengthened the hands of Mian Nawaz Sharif by taking a U-Turn.

“Now the pressure is off. He has backed off from his demand of Prime Minister’s resignation. He (Khan) has allowed himself to be diminished and has strengthened the hands of Nawaz Sharif”, he observed.

Babar termed it a climb down for the PTI chief.

“He will stand routed politically if he fails to bring the promised one million people on Wednesday (today) in the Parade ground”, he remarked.

PPP’s rejection of the SC decision remained the third most important development of the day regarding the Panama leaks. In the first place, the Supreme Court decided to take up the issue of investigation into the Panama Leaks; and, in the second place, the PTI called off its planned lockdown of the capital and the ruling PML-N welcomed the decision.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 02-Nov-2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s