Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry bill, 2016 to tackle Panama papers leak, other such issues tabled in NA

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Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry bill, 2016 to tackle Panama papers leak, other such issues tabled in NA

ISLAMABAD, Sept 02 (APP): The government on Friday introduced in the National Assembly a bill to provide for the constitution of Commissions of Inquiry- called as “The Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry bill 2016,” apparently to settle panama paper leak issues and tackle such issues in future as well.

Introducing the bill, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said that the bill had wide scope providing for granting enhanced powers to the commission being set up under 1956 Act to probe not only matter of Panama but also to prevent such illegal practices in future as well.

He said the government had been struggling all along to resolve the issue and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in his first address to the nation had urged the Supreme Court to form a commission to investigate the Panama scandal but the latter threw ball in the government’s court with observations that under 1956 Act commission would have limited scope and powers.

Thus, the government was asked to draft Terms of References (TORs) for a commission to investigate the issue.

Accordingly the government formed a committee comprising six members each from the opposition and the treasury benches and it held eight meetings which remained inconclusive, he added.

He recalled during the first meeting the committee made progress and the government showed flexibility at every stage.

He said during its first meeting, members agreed on preamble but in others meetings the opposition’ stance got tougher and tougher, trying to work out Prime Minister-specific TORs. While he added, the government wanted to have complete inquiry so that to resolve not only the offshore shareholders, but to prevent corruption cases in future as well.

So for in the country’s history, he said, all commissions in country have been constituted under the 1956 Act except that one under which 2013 general elections were held.

Another bill further to amend the Post Office Act, 1898 [The
Post Office(Amendment) Bill, 2016] was tabled in the House.

The bill was moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Members of the opposition benches rejected the bill and said they would oppose it ‘tooth and nail’ at all levels.

PPP Parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Syed Naveed Qamar said such a bill would bring no result and added that it was just wastage of time as government wanted to prolong the issue.

He said the opposition would also oppose and reject it in committee’s meeting.

PTI’s deputy parliamentary leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi while opposing the bill said it would further escalate tension in the country.