NA witnesses heated debates on Panama Paper issue
ISLAMABAD: The Lower House of Parliament on Thursday witnessed heated debates by treasury and Opposition lawmakers on Panama Papers issue particularly with reference to statement of Prime Minister about it.
Deputy Parliamentary Leader of PTI Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke on privilege motion against Prime Minister. He addressed the Speaker with his name `Ayaz Sadiq sab’ rather than calling him Mr. Speaker which annoyed the treasury lawmakers. However, the Speaker intervened and handled the situation by asking PML-N lawmaker to remain calm.
The Speaker said that he is performing his duty impartially and according to the law and providing equal opportunities to both the treasury and opposition benches to speak.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi demanded the Prime Minister to clarify his position in the House regarding the Panama Papers issue. He said PTI strongly believes in democracy for the development of the country and will continue to work for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions.
In response to PTI’s privilege motion termed sub-judice by Speaker, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said the government is ready to discuss Panama Papers issue at any level and also in the House. He clarified that speech made by the Prime Minister in this House was a general statement and was based on the truth. He said the statement given in the Supreme Court is also an elaborated and detailed one.
Saad Rafique urged PTI lawmakers to join the House and work for betterment of the general public rather than mere leveling allegations. He also criticized PTI leader Imran Khan by saying that he has been hoping for a long time to become Prime Minister.
In response to the demand of PTI lawmakers for apology by Saad Rafique over using non-parliamentary language against them, he spoke to PTI lawmaker Shireen Mazari and said” Baji, I can’t contest with you”. The Speaker Ayaz Sadiq also commented on it by saying that her party had the same opinion about her.
Later, the Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said that Parliament is a supreme institution and all of us should work to uphold its sanctity.
Minister for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar termed dialogue as the only way forward to resolve various issues. Later, the House was adjourned to meet again on Friday at 1030 hours.