16-member Joint Parliamentary Committee to prepare TORs for Panama probe

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Assembly on Thursday adopted a motion authorizing the Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to constitute a 16-member Joint Parliamentary Committee to prepare Terms of Reference (TORs) for a Judicial Commission to investigate Panama Papers issue.

The motion was moved by the Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid.

The motion said that the committee will consider various options to inquire important issues raised in controversy over Panama Papers, media reports about offshore companies, transfer of funds from Pakistan originating from corruption, commissions, kickback and written off bank loans.

The Parliamentary Committee will formulate the TORs and determine the timeline for submission of the report in consultation with Chairman Senate, Leader of the Opposition and leaders of the Parliamentary Parties.

The 16-member Parliamentary Committee will be constituted of eight nominees of the federal government and eight from the opposition in both the Houses of Parliament. The committee will submit its report to the Parliament within two weeks.

The agreement on the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee was reached when representatives of the federal government and the opposition parties held a consultative meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday.

On May 16, while addressing the National Assembly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had proposed setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to prepare consensus and comprehensive TORs to probe allegations of Panama Papers.

Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said in the House on Wednesday that they always tried to resolve issues in the Parliament as it was the right forum for resolving issues.

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Khursheed Shah said that all parties should sit together to preparing TORs to investigate Panama Leaks to resolve this issue.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan also said that the Parliamentary Committee should be constituted immediately for finalizing TROs to investigate Panama leaks.

Imran Khan said that Panama leaks had provided good opportunity to change the fate of the country by investigating it properly. He said that across the board accountability would not only strengthen democracy but also put the country on the path of progress and prosperity.

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