ISLAMABAD - The government yesterday successfully wooed the opposition parties to participate in the NA proceedings and constitute a bipartisan parliamentary committee soon to decide the ToRs.

The joint opposition ended their weeklong walkouts from the proceedings of the National Assembly as they were demanding response of the prime minister on the floor of the house in line with their seven questions.

In a new development, rift in the opposition also emerged as MQM (the third largest party) refused to further support it on the issue of ToRs.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, talking to media persons, said National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq would form a bipartisan committee to mutually decide ToRs for the Panama leaks probe.

Ishaq Dar further said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had assigned to Ayaz Sadiq the task of forming a parliamentary committee on the issue of the Panama leaks. He added the terms proposed by both the opposition and the government might also be considered for inclusion in the ToRs. “The committee will decide the ToRs for investigating the allegations of Panama Papers.

When asked about MQM’s new decision to support the government, Dar confidently remarked the opposition would continue to face split. “Those staging sit-ins will be left alone again,” he said, without naming Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He further said there should be no hindrances in the way of development of the country. “The prime minister has presented himself for accountability before the Parliament as no one is above accountability,” he remarked.

Commenting on MQM, Opposition Leader in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan remarked the MQM always had its own decisions.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday last asked the Parliament to constitute a commission to probe allegations of Panama leaks, but the opposition rejected his offer and staged a walkout from the proceedings of the house.

Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah, talking to media persons, also confirmed Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had vowed to talk to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the Panama leaks issue. “The speaker has assured us of talking to the prime minister,” said Shah, after a meeting of the joint opposition with Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. He said the opposition had ended boycott of the National Assembly and the Senate.

The opposition parties, he said, have decided to end their walkout from the proceedings of both the houses. They were earlier demanding response of the prime minister on the floor of the house in line with their seven questions.

Earlier, all the opposition parties participated in yesterday’s National Assembly proceedings by ending their protest against the prime minister. The opposition parties even did not support an independent opposition member, Jamshed Dasti, who pointed out quorum in the start of the proceedings.

However, the house was suspended for 35 minutes for lack of the required strength. The house which was jam-packed on Monday witnessed a very thin presence from both sides of the aisle.

The lawmakers, in the absence of main MNAs, also stayed away from the proceedings of the house as the opposition parties’ meeting continued outside the house at the same time.

The house rejected MQM’s motion to form a special committee by the speaker to investigate the loans of billions of rupees written off by the banks during the last three financial years.

Parliamentary Secretary Finance Rana Afzal said a new committee could not be formed.

MQM’s Muhammad Kamal, on point of order, said the Karachi operation had become controversial. “MQM should not be targeted as accountability should be for all,” he said, and left the house in protest with other MQM members.

Two bills, including ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2016’ and ‘the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2016’ were also referred to the National Assembly standing committees concerned.

INP adds: Earlier MQM parted ways with joint opposition against the government on Panama leaks issue.

Sources privy to the party stated that MQM would chalk out its separate strategy for probe into Panama Papers revelations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family. It was reported that the party members did not agree with opposition’s course of action against the government.

Barrister Saif, who represented MQM in different meetings at Leader of the Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan’s house, and Mian Atiq were called back to Karachi by Rabita Committee.

The MQM leaders are likely to unveil their future strategy in a press conference in next 48 hours.

MQM, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) formed an alliance against the government after Panama Papers named Sharif family for owning offshore companies.