ISLAMABAD - The opposition parties’ huddle today (Tuesday) will have a final word on the selection of Election Commission of Pakistan’s provincial members, besides devising the future course of action on the stalled negotiations between government and opposition parties on terms of reference (ToRs) for Panama Papers probe.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah after meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi, expressed his optimism that consensus on the appointment of new provincial members of ECP would be evolved by Thursday.

He further informed that on the invitation of Shah Mahmood Qureshi he would attend the meeting of the opposition members of the committee negotiating with the government on framing terms of reference for Panama Papers probe but the opposition parties abandoned the negotiations as the government side was not ready to show any flexibility on framing the new ToRs in light of the input given by the opposition parties. Earlier in meeting between the two, the names of potential candidates of the members came under discussion and both the leaders said that the neutral and competent persons should be brought forward to fill these slots as it was consensus among all political stakeholders to have competent and neutral persons in ECP as it was the only way to ensure free and fair elections in future.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation that neither PTI Chairman Imran Khan nor PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would be attending the meeting owing to their busy schedule in connection with the upcoming AJK general elections.

Actually their participation in the meeting was not on the cards as the relevant people of all the political parties were already engaged in dealing with the situation both on the appointment of the ECP members and devising future strategy on ToRs.

The sources in the opposition parties informed that the opposition parties would re-adjust their protest plan on government failure to frame ToRs which would be acceptable to all the political stakeholders in the light of the fresh invitation of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar requesting the opposition parties to rejoin the negotiations in devising the terms of reference for Panama Papers probe as according to him government sincerely wanted to do blanket accountability.

The sources further informed that some of the opposition parties were of the view that opposition must accept the fresh invitation by the finance minister and fully exhaust the option of negotiations before going for the agitation to get their demands of bringing prime minister and his family members in the accountability net in Panama Papers revelations and their alleged offshore companies and foreign properties. So in the Tuesday’s meeting the opposition parties may decide to give negotiations another chance and would again sit across the negotiation table with certain conditions just to keep the opposition parties united.