ISLAMABAD - Nationalist leaders have a piece of advice for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in wake of the looming agitation from the opposition in the aftermath of Panama Leaks. “Leave no option for Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Khan to agitate and politicise the issue,” a well-placed source quoted Mehmood Khan Achakzai as saying during his meeting with the prime minister on Saturday.
The source said Achakzai also advised the premier to tackle the opposition himself in parliament as some cabinet members and advisors were causing troubles for the government through their ‘immature’ statements. “Mehmood Khan has said several times that he will not forget Imran Khan for the foul language he (PTI chief) used against him during the sit-in outside Parliament House. Mehmood Khan does not like Imran Khan,” he said.
Nationalist political forces like Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Awami National Party (ANP) and Balochistan National Party Mengal (BNP-M) extend their unequivocal support to Premier Sharif in the face of the agitation threatened by Imran Khan. With opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) internally divided over its course of action on the Panama Leaks, Premier Sharif according to sources takes the advices of nationalist leaders more serious. Senator Shahi Syed told The Nation yesterday that ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan had indirectly suggested to the government to constitute a judicial commission to probe the revelations pertaining to Pakistani politicians in the Panama leaks. “In case the PTI does not agree to the Terms of References (ToRs) set by Prime Minister through Ministry of Law, we will request the government to constitute a parliamentary committee. The PTI should have no objection if the entire opposition agrees to it,” Senator Shahi Syed said. Zahid Khan, Information Secretary ANP said the PTI seeks to divert attention of people from the scandal involving a sitting minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. “The ANP has filed an adjournment motion in the provincial assembly demanding judicial inquiry into the financial scandal in Bank of Khyber,” he said. “The Prime Minister did not take the saga of offshore accounts seriously. His inaction on constitution of judicial commission gave enough time to opposition to chalk out their strategy,” the ANP leader who is former Senator said.
Though the PPP does not endorse street agitation in the aftermath of the revelation of offshore accounts of politicians, Senator Jahanzeb Jamaldini who is also secretary general of BNP-M candidly said that the opposition party seeks bargain with the government. “The PPP is bargaining for release of Dr Asim Hussain,” Senator Jamaldini said adding that the PPP was split apart with Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah going soft on the government and Aitzaz Ahsan pressing the government hard in Senate.
Chairman PTI Imran Khan yesterday objected to the ToRs of the judicial commission, saying the terms were set unilaterally by the government without taking opposition on board. But the BNP-M said the judicial commission will be reasonable as the ToRs were excellent. “The PTI cannot tolerate the ongoing aggressive developmental programs of PML-N. It wants agitation and this time in Punjab,” he said.
Sources said President ANP Asfandyar Wali Khan is expected to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in case the opposition particularly the PTI made the judicial commission controversial.