ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslime League Nawaz (PML-N) and other parties to submit written response on Thursday regarding finalisation of Terms of References (TORs) to form a commission to probe the issue of Panama Papers leaks.
A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali heard the petitions submitted against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Muslim League (AML).
The apex court had earlier directed both the government and PTI to submit their comments after consulting with their respective leaderships on the formation of a commission and adjourned the hearing for two hours.
As the case hearing resumed, the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf expressed their consent for the formation of the commission.
The court asked the parties to present in writing their proposal for formation of the commission.
Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said the commission will report to the Supreme Court, adding that it will hold powers equal to the apex court.
“We are determined to resolve this issue. We will solve it and we will solve it as soon as possible. Now the highest forum in the country in regards to dispute resolution has taken up this matter, so now you hold your positions, please restrain,” Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, one of the five judges hearing the case told the court.
The bench further made it clear that the court will settle the issue of TORs by itself if any party failed to respond.
PM WELCOMES SC DECISION
Speaking to reporters outside the Supreme Court, Minister for Defense Khawaja Asif said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has openly welcomed the formation of the commission on Panama Papers. He said the Prime Minister wants early conclusion of the case.
Asif said the PML-N has whole-heartedly accepted the court’s orders and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf should also take back the protest call.
He reiterated that there is no justification of the protest following the court’s proceedings on the matter.
Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique expressed the confidence that the PTI leadership will show maturity and take back the protest call for return of normalcy to the country.
Counsel of PTI Hamid Khan in his remarks said the PTI agrees to the formation of the commission.