LAHORE - MQM Pakistan yesterday supported the demand of lawyers and opposition parties for the prime minister’s resignation after the Supreme Court verdict in the Panama leaks case.

“Our party fully backs the Supreme Court decision in the Panama case. The PM has no justification to stick to the office after the April 20 verdict,” said MQM Pakistan Convener Dr Farooq Sattar in his address to the Lahore High Court Bar Association. It was the first kind of interaction between an MQM leader and lawyers’ body in Lahore.

According to Sattar, the PM’s resignation is necessary to ensure transparent inquiry by the joint investigation team formed on the SC order, into the matter.

“It is a decisive moment for Pakistan. The prime minister can leave a good example for the next rulers by tendering his resignation in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision.”

The MQM leader also advised the PM to fill the gap which emerged between civil and military institutions after issuance of the notification in connection with the security leaks inquiry report. The current situation, he held, was dangerous for the country and entire responsibility to calm down the tense environment lied on the PM’s shoulders.

He was of the view that the prime minister should have made extensive consolation before issuing any notification in the light of Dawn leaks inquiry report.

The MQM chief was in the Punjab’s capital on a two-day visit. He arrived in the city to address a workers’ convention in connection of May Day celebrations on Monday while meeting with party workers, a press conference at Lahore Press Club and address to LHBA were his Tuesday’s engagements. The leader announced to start party organisation in Punjab and directed party’s central leader Shabir Qaimkhawni who hailed from Karachi along with him to make stay in Lahore for the purpose. He said MQM vote bank was intact in Sindh and party was gaining momentum in other parts of the country with every passing day.

Sattar, in his address to the bar and during press conference at LPC, was critical to the NAB which he said badly failed to act against corrupt mafia. The accountability bureau, in his views, works as a servant institution of every government instead of performing duties professionally. Pointing out that 180 cases of 2,000 billion rupees were lying pending with the NAB, he demanded the supreme court to take suo moto into the mega corruption scandals. He added there was not a single person from his party involved in the corruption cases.

The MQM head criticised provincial government for not empowering local government institutions despite conducting election on the direction of the court. He said the viability of the government was under question when even it failed to conduct LG elections and hold the national census on its own. He said the Centre must provide resources to the provinces according to Article 160 of the Constitution and then the provinces should distribute them among the local government representatives.

Sattar said his party stood by PTI in its case for the provision of funds to the provinces.

He termed feudalists and capitalists a mafia, who were eating up all the resources of Pakistan. He appealed to the people of the Punjab to stand by MQM to bring the real change in the country.