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‘Robust defense’ to be taken against Panama allegations: Maryam Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Senior PML-N leaders met in PM Nawaz’s office to devise a plan to handle the opposition in the wake of the Panama Leaks. Maryam Nawaz was the main member at the meeting.

According to a press release, the meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, but an official at the PM Office said its axis was Ms Maryam, the PM’s daughter.

She came up with her views and proposals on a number of matters under debate.

Unlike her earlier presence in certain meetings chaired by the prime minister, this time Maryam Nawaz actively participated in deliberations and, at times, sounded in command, said the official.

The official stated that Ms Maryam believed that the presiding party had not put up a satisfactory cover of the prime minister and his family on the Panama Papers leak. She called for a “robust defence” at all levels.

She also took the lead in refusing the opposition’s request for a judicial commission led by a aiding judge, let alone the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

If at all the commission is formed it will be the one headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court as announced by the prime minister in his address to the nation, the meeting decided, according a PML-N source.

The meeting was also joined by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who decided to reach out to all political parties to present the government’s perspective on the Panama Papers.

According to the ToRs, the directive will be completely authorised to look into assertions against the Sharif family as well as other Pakistanis stated in the Panama Papers. If probable, more than one judge can be made part of the directive, which will have all organisations in it, counting the State Bank.

He said the government was ready to establish the judicial commission and even discussed its ToRs at the meeting, but the opposition seemed to be at odds on it.

We have decided to contact all opposition parties, including the PTI, and, depending on their input, will take a decision on the formation of the commission. At the moment, the PTI wants a CJP-led commission, while the PPP demands a parliamentary committee to investigate the Panama leaks, Senator Khan said, adding that let’s see how the situation developed in coming days.