ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leadership had another marathon meeting yesterday to discuss the modalities of inquiry commission to be constituted under Justice (r) Sarmad Jalal Usmani on Panama Leaks.

The meeting, held under Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, prepared tentative terms of reference (ToRs) for the proposed panel as the ToRs draft would be finalised after parleys with the political stakeholders.

Sources in the government said that the commission head may be notified in a couple of days (Monday/Tuesday) while the decision on the rest of members, including chartered accountants and other technical people, would be made after consulting the opposition parties.

A PML-N source said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had already taken some allies in federal and Balochistan governments into confidence on the government’s plan and he would soon be approaching the main opposition parties which had already rejected the ex-SC judge panel.

According to a brief statement issued by the ruling party, Dar-headed meeting short-listed the names of professionals for the inquiry commission.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting included Minister for Law and Justice, Zahid Hamid, Minister of State for IT, Anusha Rehman Khan, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Special Assistant to PM on Law, Barrister Zafarullah Khan and Secretary to PM Fawad Hassan Fawad.

The meeting also reviewed the pending legislation and devised strategy to get it through from both houses of the parliament.

The PML-N sources said the government side wanted to put the matter in delay while the division in the opposition parties on the modus operandi of the probe made the task easy for them.

The sources said the PML-N leadership has ample time to ponder over and evolve some strategy to get fixed the Panama leaks problem as it would not be easy to bring all the opposition parties to the same page.

The Pakistan People’s Party leadership wanted formation of a Parliamentary Committee to probe the matter while the PTI and Jamaat-i-Islami wanted the probe under the direct supervision of the chief justice of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association rejected the probe under serving or retired judge of the apex court and its President Syed Ali Zafar said they would give their plan of getting the matter probed on Monday.

The sources further said that mainly Finance Minister Dar would be leading the whole affair and he would himself be meeting with the leadership of mainstream political parties to evolve consensus on ToRs and to woo parties on ex-SC judge issue.

They said though opposition parties had already rejected the inquiry commission under an ex-judge, the government would stand firm, resulting in providing more time to government for preparing a counterstrategy.


Online adds: PTI Chairman Imran Khan yesterday said a judicial commission on Panama leaks is acceptable only under the chief justice of Pakistan.

“No commission is acceptable under someone else on the Panama leaks,” he said, while talking to media persons after addressing a fund-raising ceremony in London. He said the matter of the PTI public meeting in Islamabad was discussed during his meeting with Chaudhry Nisar in the plane. “The meetings with opposition leaders are based on one-point agenda. No commission under someone else except the CJP is acceptable,” he added.

Demanding resignation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan said in his twitter message: “Political leaders are quitting their offices all over the world to save democracy. A Spanish minister has also stepped down. Why has Nawaz Sharif no perception about the situation?” he questioned.

Separately, during his stay in London, Imran Khan along with Jahangir Tareen met an international audit firm.