ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday welcomed ‘with open heart’ the Supreme Court’s proceedings in the Panama Papers issue.

Chairing a consultative meeting in Islamabad, the prime minister said he believed in the rule of law, complete transparency and supremacy of the constitution.

Earlier, the Supreme Court issued notices to Prime Minister Sharif and other parties over the Panamagate petitions seeking the premier’s disqualification.

However, the court dismissed Watan Party’s plea demanding formation of a commission. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, took up the five constitutional petitions on the Panama leaks issue.

Nawaz Sharif said the people’s court was giving its verdict in by-elections and it would be better to await the Supreme Court’s decision as well.

The PM said he had announced to form a commission comprising retired judges of the Supreme Court soon after the Panama issue came into limelight. He averred a letter was also written to the chief justice of the apex court, on the opposition’s demand, to form a judicial commission to probe the matter.

The prime minister said the government also formed a parliamentary committee to reach consensus on terms of reference, in the light of the Supreme Court’s directions.

Despite having numerical superiority in the parliament, the equal representation was given to the opposition in the ToRs committee, but no consensus was reached, he stated.

Nawaz Sharif said the government also tabled a bill in the parliament to make the proposed judicial commission more effective and powerful, but the opposition tabled a parallel bill against the constitutional and legal requirements.

The prime minister held he had presented his stance on the issue in detail in the National Assembly, but the opposition kept busy in negative propaganda, hindering transparent and impartial investigations.