ISLAMABAD - The opposition in the Senate yesterday demanded registration of a case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly using public money to run a media campaign to influence the ongoing hearing of the Supreme Court in the Panama leaks.

The opposition lawmakers, at the especially requisitioned session of the house in one day to discuss the current political situation on the country in the wake of PTI’s Islamabad lockdown plan, also came down hard on the government’s decision to allow proscribed outfits to hold rallies in the federal capital.

They condemned the government for using excessive use of force against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers during its Islamabad lockdown protest.

The opposition parties said their bill tabled in the house regarding probe into the Panama leaks should immediately be passed.

The opposition launched a protest in front of the dice of Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and later staged a token walkout from the house, stating that the government was running advertisements on TV channels and newspapers in an attempt to influence the ongoing hearing of the apex court over the Panama leaks.

“The opposition parties have decided to register their protest in front of your dice to press for their demand that an FIR should be registered against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for misusing the government resources on the advertisements to influence the apex court. The opposition bill over Panamagate should be passed immediately,” said Leader of Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, while speaking on a motion regarding the brutal crackdown of the government on PTI workers.

Aitzaz urged the Supreme Court to take notice of the government’s advertisement campaign in the national media. He said the opposition’s bill in the Senate was not targeting the prime minister and his children alone, but all those having offshore companies, which was not acceptable to the government.

He alleged now the government was again finding ways to escape the accountability process of the apex court through objections raised by the attorney general.

PPP Senator Taj Haider strongly condemned the use of force by the government against PTI workers. He said the government was leading the country to anarchy due to its brutalities launched on the political workers.

“On one hand, the government was taking brutal action against political workers, while on the other, it allowed a banned organization to hold a rally in Islamabad,” he remarked. He alleged the government was encouraging banned outfits to join the main stream.

“A turmoil-like situation is created whenever a retirement date of anybody comes closer,” PkMAP Senator Usman Kakar said in an apparent reference to the retirement of COAS General Reheel Sharif.

He lamented the 2014 sit-ins had ended after a compromise and the same had been done in case of PTI’s recent November 2 plan.

MQM’s Col (r) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi also criticised the government for allowing the banned organisations to hold a rally in Islamabad. He alleged Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan did have time for a meeting with political parties, but he happily met leaders of the banned outfits and also allowed them to hold a rally in the capital.