LAHORE: Political coordination has gained momentum to discuss various investigation options as the Panama leaks issue continues to haunt Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

The Opposition Leader in the National Assembly, Khursheed Shah, telephoned Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq and Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday to discuss with them several options to investigate the scandal involving the offshore accounts of the Sharif family and other Pakistanis.

The Jamaat chief suggested that while the government was writing a letter to the Supreme Court chief justice to set up an inquiry commission, opposition parties should also send a similar request to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to urge him not to turn down the government’s request.

The chief justice should also be requested not only to probe the Panama leaks scandal, but also help bring back the looted money from abroad and announce exemplary punishment for those responsible for the offence.

The JI chief noted that the request was necessary to assure the CJP that the opposition had confidence in him to bridge the trust deficit caused by the rejection of a report of the commission that had been set up on the alleged rigging in 2013 elections.

When the PPP leader contacted Mr Qureshi on the suggestion, the PTI leader said that his party would take a decision after going through contents of the proposed letter.

In an apparent move to put more pressure on the government not to back out of its promised investigation into the Panama leaks, the Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Mian Mahmoodur Rashid, visited PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

Both the leaders agreed to work in unison within and outside assemblies as the opposition might not get a better opportunity than this to hold rulers accountable, Mr Rashid said after the meeting.

They both demanded that instead of repeatedly addressing the nation, the prime minister should resign before setting up the proposed commission.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2016

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