PM Nawaz, Imran agree to formation of Panama Leaks commission


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has asked parties in the Panama Leaks case to submit the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for the formation of the commission which will probe Panama Leaks.

During proceedings on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan agreed to the formation of a commission. The commission comprising SC judges will have the same authority as the apex court.

Adjourning the hearing till 11:30 PM on November 3, the apex court has directed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to submit their reply over the Panama Leaks case.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali asked both parties to “show restraint,” as he remarked that the issue would now be resolved by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court resumed hearing the Panama Leaks case after a two hour recess on Tuesday. The apex court had asked both PTI chairman Imran Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to tell the court if they would abide by the decision of a commission on the Panama Leaks.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard five petitions regarding the Panama Leaks case including two petitions filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf calling for the disqualification of the prime minister.

The SC maintained that all parties will be given an opportunity to state their point. The bench said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf should adopt a more responsible approach towards the issue adding that all eyes were on this high-profile case.

Justice Khosa observed that no state institution including the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated an investigation into the Panama Leaks case. He added that if an individual cannot justify his assets according to his income then an inquiry should be initiated.

Justice Hani said if money from the country is going abroad then NAB can intervene.

SC will finalise if there is no consensus on ToRs

PTI’s lawyer Hamid Khan said an agreement had been reached on the commission to investigate the Panama Leaks case.

Hamid Khan added that if there was no consensus on the ToRs, the Supreme Court will finalise them.

Complete faith in Supreme Court

PML-N leader and the country’s defence minister, Khawaja Asif said his party had surrendered to the decision of the Supreme Court.

“In the present situation it is crucial for all parties to show faith in the Supreme Court.”

Asif added that protests on the streets were hampering economic progress in the country.

SC hears Panama Leaks petitions

PTI chairman Imran Khan, in his petition, contended that PM Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar should be declared ‘ineligible’. The petition further read that the interior ministry should place the names of PM and his family members on the Exit Control List (ECL).

“NAB should be directed to recover the looted money and rights of properties purchased through this sum,” the petition adds.

A petition filed by Tariq Asad Advocate seeks formation of a judicial commission to probe different offshore companies owned by different Pakistanis and money-laundering. He moved the court to direct NAB and FIA to file their report after completing investigations into the matter.

“The court should order punishment to those involved in money laundering and tax evasion,” the petition read.

The emir of Jamat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq has also filed a petition with the apex court requesting it to order NAB and FIA to bring back illegally sent money abroad and arrest of culprits.

Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed has also filed a similar petition in the SC demanding a commission be formed to investigate the allegations surfacing after the Panama Papers leaks.

Earlier, the Supreme Court issued notices to all parties including the Prime Minister.

Apart from the prime minister, the SC issued notices to Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz, Captain Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Notices were also issued to Imran Khan, FBR chairman, NAB chief, ECP, Cabinet Division, Ministry of Interior and others.

PTI has given a call for a massive protest in Islamabad on November 2, in a final showdown aimed at forcing PM Nawaz to step down and present himself for accountability in the wake of Panama Papers disclosures.

The PTI is adamant to go forth with its planned ‘lockdown’ of the federal capital. Party leaders and workers have been making efforts for past two days to converge on Bani Gala residence of chairman Imran Khan to pressure Nawaz government to surrender to their demands.