ISLAMABAD - The upper house of the Parliament is going to start a discussion today, for the first time, on the alleged offshore wealth of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his family and other Pakistanis as revealed by Panama Papers.

Acting Senate Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri remarked the house would discuss the issue after Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed moved a motion in the house to discuss the Panama leaks related to important personalities and dignitaries of Pakistan after suspension of the rules of the house business. Mushahid said he was moving the motion as decided by the House Business Advisory Committee.

The opposition benches, during a joint sitting of the parliament, have already given a tough time to the government on the issue of the Panama leaks .

Separately, the entire opposition walked out of the house for half an hour when the chair did not allow the Standing Committee on Finance chairman to present a special report on privatisation of Heavy Electrical Complex.

The treasury members of PML-N blocked the presentation of the special report of the Standing Committee on Finance about privatisation of Heavy Electrical Complex after some members of the committee raised objections over it.

PML-N senators, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Nuzhat Sadiq and Saud Majid, objected that the committee passed the report in their absence without bringing it on the agenda of the meeting. Ayesha Raza Farooq was the first who launched the protest over the behaviour of the committee chairman, Salim Mandviwala. “Though I was a member of the sub-committee that finalised the report, it was never shared with me, but the same was shared with the media,” she deplored.

Senator Saeed Ghani and former Senate chairman Farooq H Naek said the report could be discussed thoroughly under the rules and then it would be up to the house either to adopt it or not. The government did not want the report to be discussed in the house. However, the chair deferred the presentation of the report till April 18.

An opposition senator, after end of the session, informed The Nation that the government was reluctant to discuss the report because the committee had referred the matter of privatisation to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after finding some alleged violations in the whole process.

The treasury benches endorsed a story of The Nation about involvement of the National Police Foundation (NPF) in china cutting and admitted that its management made violations of the original layout plan approved by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). “The management carved out 1,232 residential plots against 1,195 as approved in the original layout plan besides converting many residential plots into commercial ones," said Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) State Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry. He said the plots specified for parks, schools and graveyard were also sold out through gross violations. He said CDA had cancelled the NOC of the foundation in 2008, but it got relief from the Islamabad High Court. The chair ordered a strict action against the violators.

Earlier, Senator Azam Khan Swati, on his call-attention notice, alleged the management of NPF was involved in conversion of residential plots into commercial ones by violating the rules, mentioned by The Nation in its story. “The foundation converted the residential plots into commercial ones and included the places reserved for parks, playgrounds, open spaces and graveyards into residential plots,” he said and added it was strange that the law enforcers had been found involved in violating the law.

The government presented a copy of the Money Bill, the Members of Election Commission (Salary, Allowances, Perks and Privileges) Bill, 2016, in the house while the chair invited recommendations from the members.

The house passed Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (Amendment) Bill, 2016, while two other bills, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill, 2016, were referred to the committees concerned.