ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may soon contact Pakistan People’s Party chief Asif Ali Zardari to find out a solution to the government-opposition impasse over the investigations into the Panama leaks scandal, official sources said yesterday.

Zardari had made a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Sharif last month when he was in London for a medical treatment. The contact was primarily to enquire after the premier’s health yet reports said the two top politicians did discuss the Panama leaks.

Prime Minister Sharif is considering holding talks with the opposition on the Panama leaks in the coming days. Close aides said he might choose to first brief the parliament and then go for talks with the rivals. Last day, opposition leader Khurshid Shah wrote a letter and attached the Terms of Reference – agreed upon by the opposition parties – to PM Sharif.

A close aide of the premier told The Nation, he might contact Zardari before the government-opposition talks on the Panama leaks.

“Even if this contact is not public, it will be known among the two parties so the negotiations may become more cordial,” he added. He said the PM was softer to the PPP than the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and was bidding to break the loose alliance between the opposition parties.

The opposition’s TORs says the Panama Papers revelations have brought “Pakistan into disrepute globally” by naming the Prime Minister’s family and other Pakistani nationals and have raised questions about the legality and propriety of their assets held abroad and in offshore companies. The opposition parties demanded an independent Commission led by the Chief Justice to investigate the issue.

Khurshid Shah said the opposition was ready to hold talks with the government over the issue to find out a solution to the issue. Sharif has already sent a letter to Chief Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali to form a commission to probe the Panama leaks scandal but Justice Jamali has not responded yet.

Prime Minister Sharif is in trouble due to a number of companies under the Sharif family’s name. People indicted through these files are Sharif’s children: Hassan Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Sharif said terrorists and his political opponents both had the same agenda of hindering the country’s progress.

Addressing a public gathering in Sukkur, the premier said the country would not have lagged behind in progress if there was no sit-in politics. Sharif said he had high regards for Khurshid Shah who was a ‘friend and well-wisher.’

The premier was accompanied by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who took the podium before the Prime Minister to mainly criticise the PTI. Senior PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira told The Nation that his party was not against top-level contacts and if Sharif telephones Zardari, “it won’t be a new thing.” He said the PPP was standing with the other opposition parties and its demand was not Sharif-specific but based on principles.

“We are demanding what the whole nation wants to know. We want serious investigations into this case. All the opposition parties have discussed the TORs and sent them to the PM. It is now the government’s turn to respond. We have the blessings of our top leadership,” he added.

He said the opposition had already made it clear they wanted talks on the issue. “If the government wants a dialogue, they are more than welcome. The main goal is to investigate the case and find out the truth,” he said.

Asked if the PPP could be softer on the government as compared to the PTI, Kaira said, “There is no question of being softer or harsher. We all want investigations and an agreement (on the inquiry commission) could be reached with the government through talks.”