ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday asked the opposition parties to be logical over their demand for a briefing regarding the Panama leaks scandal pledging to clear his position before the inquiry commission instead of facing the rivals’ grilling in the parliament.

Sharif denounced the rival parties for ‘negative politics’ claiming he was sincere over investigation into Panama Papers and ready for accountability. “Their goal is to get me, not to curb corruption. We can discuss things in the parliament that need to be discussed and others that need to be discussed before the commission would only be discussed there,” he added.

The opposition parties continued their boycott of the National Assembly yesterday demanding of the prime minister to attend the session and respond to their seven questions on the Panama leaks.

On his way back from Tajikistan, Sharif told journalists the opposition parties had resorted to negative politics, which proved poisonous for the country in the past.

“I am not running away from accountability. It is our desire that Chief Justice should set up a commission to investigate the Panama leaks. The opposition cannot demand any answers from me nor any politician should try to become the commission himself,” he added.

The premier said for the opposition, Nawaz Sharif was the prime target instead of a sincere effort for accountability.

He said the government would consider the recommendation of getting Panama Papers investigated by National Accountability Bureau. The premier said the country will not be able to progress in a politically hostile environment.

Earlier, leaders of opposition parties – after a meeting chaired by PPP stalwart Aitzaz Ahsan - said a strategy had also been devised provided if the prime minister refused to answer the questions raised by them.

Ahsan said they did not intend to surprise the premier when he visits the parliament so they sent him questions. He urged the premier to ‘change his attitude’ and respond to the queries.

PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the government had no answer over the questions which the opposition parties raised. “It is against the spirit of democracy when the premier is not even answerable to the parliament which elected him to the office,” he added. He said the opposition was forming a joint strategy over the Panama leaks.

The opposition with mutual consent has also decided to protest in both houses and boycott proceedings of the house in case of PM’s absence from parliament on Friday, he said. The opposition’s seven-point questionnaire seeking clarifications from the PM has also been presented in National Assembly.

Aitzaz warned that opposition parties would increase their questions if Prime Minister Sharif failed to come up with satisfactory response.

Awami Muslim League head Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said a Pakistan Television driver paid more taxes than the prime minister of this country. “We are hoping that the prime minister will hear us and we will hear him,” he added.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the government also floated a questionnaire for the opposition asking them if they needed a Judicial Commission, NAB inquiry or mere replies to the questions.

At a media interaction, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Mohammed Zubair, Abid Sher Ali, Danial Aziz and Talal Chaudhry criticised the opposition leaders for making it a political issue.

The questionnaire read: “Is there prime minister’s name mentioned in Panama leaks? Why the investigations to be carried out from 1995? Why corruption and loan waive clause was omitted in Terms of Reference? Opposition should tell that whether it needed Judicial Commission, NAB inquiry or reply to its questionnaire?”

The PML-N leaders said PM Sharif always kept transparent track record, while tax details were present in tax returns and relevant departments.

The leaders said the opposition was turning away from its demand for a Judicial Commission over Panama leaks.