Opposition presents facts against ground realities: Ministers

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ISLAMABAD, June 20 (APP): Rejecting opposition’s stance over
the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for proposed judicial commission to
probe Panama Papers, federal ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique, Zahid
Hamid and Anusha Rehman on Monday said the opposition had presented facts against ground realities.

Talking to newsmen here at the Parliament House, they said neither Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif owned any offshore company nor his name was reported in the Panama Papers.

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said the opposition misreported the facts regarding the government’s consultation with PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi for working out ToRs.

No judge, he said, was ready to be part of the commission for
probing Panama Papers because of the propaganda by Pakistan Tehreek
e Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and his party leaders.

He said other opposition members in the parliamentary committee on ToRs had tried to realize Aitzaz Ahsan that he was not doing justice but he remained adamant to his stance.

“We neither demand any relaxation in the matter of free accountability nor we need it,” he said, adding that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had already faced accountability when it was in opposition.

He said Aitzaz Ahsan had presented the ToRs in the shape of 15 questions in the committee and the work on them couldn’t be advanced.

Saad Rafique said the government wanted guidelines from the
opposition regarding ToRs. But it should not be threatened of protests
and sit-ins, he added.

Khawaja Saad said media should also show the face expressions
of opposition leaders as they wanted to stage a political show after
Eidul Fitr.

He said certain political parties of the opposition were targeting the PML-N on the pretext of Panama Papers. However, the people had now become aware of their tactics and would not be befooled.

Saad Rafique said many opposition leaders did not attend the press conference which reflected differences among their ranks.

He said it was not the job of politicians to poke nose in judicial matters. They should know that the judiciary was independent and making decisions according to the Constitution and law, he added.

He said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had now lost its credibility as it had always reneged on its commitments and promises.

Replying to a question, he said Asif Ali Zardari was a wise and sane person and despite differences, his party would not take any
step which could derail democracy.

Being part of a joint opposition was a good thing, but the PTI evev had no ability ‘to kill mouses’, he remarked.

He said the opposition should better make preparations for 2018
elections as every one in the country wanted ‘a crusade against
corruption’.

Answering another question, he said though Aitzaz Ahsan had
rendered great services for the democracy, but he had no right to
misguide the nation. There was nothing concrete in the opposition
leaders’ press conference but it was just verbosity.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid said the opposition was just emphasizing
only six points. However, neither Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s name was included in the Panama Papers, nor he owned any offshore company, he added.

He said the PML-N had clear stance that any one who had violated
the law, should face action.

Minster of State for IT Anusha Rehman said the commission to probe
alleged electoral riggings was also formed under an ordinance.

The opposition should give the ToRs if it wanted an inquiry into the
Panama Papers, but the matter would be settled in the judicial
commission, he added.

The opposition, she said, did not want across the board accountability but it was just targeting the Prime Minister. But the opposition’s wish would not be fulfilled, she added.

She said the Prime Minister had already presented himself for accountability.

To a question, Saad Rafique said if any court called Hassan Nawaz
would attend proceedings with complete proofs and evidence.