LAHORE - In the wake of Panama leaks, there seems to be an obvious paradox in the PPP’s stance on the issue of prime minister’s resignation, though the party leaders deny this was the case.

It was none else but the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who sought Nawaz Sharif’s resignation for the first time. Following this, senior party leaders, especially from Punjab, became increasingly vociferous in their demand for the resignation as they took it as the party line, mistakenly though.

Ch Aitzaz Ahsan led the opposition’s campaign against the prime minister along with former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and others. Aitzaz also framed seven pinching questions for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to be answered in the National Assembly.

Nonetheless, PPP leaders from Sindh, especially Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah, were not as vocal against the prime minister as their fellow party men from Punjab.

As the issue dragged on, there was a visible change in the PPP’s position on the same issue. Though the PPP was leading the opposition’s campaign on Panama leaks, it did not press hard for PM’s resignation in the joint meetings of the opposition parties. Finally, the ToRs framed by the opposition for the proposed judicial commission had no mention of his resignation.

It was then said that ANP and Quomi Watan Party had opposed this demand by other parties.

PPP’s softening stance on the Panama leaks became even more obvious when the premier did not answer any of the seven questions in his speech in the National Assembly. Opposition leader Khursheed Shah allowed the prime minister to get away with it by simply walking out from the House. Political analysts regarded it a great favour to the beleaguered prime minister at that time.

In the meanwhile, Opposition parties agreed to work with the government on formation of a parliamentary committee to frame the ToRs for the proposed judicial commission. It is in the process of its making as yet.

Khursheed’s recent statement that PPP wants solution of the Panama Papers within the framework of the Parliament is noteworthy in the prevailing situation.

Not less significant to note is the development that Bilawal has gone silent on the Panama episode and left for Dubai last week. Party men now say he had not demanded prime minister’s resignation at any stage. PPP leader Rehman Malik said in a statement from London that Bilawal had never asked for prime minister’s resignation.

Talking to The Nation yesterday, party spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar also said that Bilawal had, in fact, not sought prime minister’s resignation.“Bilawal’s talk of resignation was actually a taunt at Mian Nawaz Sharif who had earlier demanded Yusuf Raza Gilani’s resignation as prime minister in 2012,” he said, adding that Bilawal was only reminding Mr Sharif of his previous stance on the same issue.

Asked to comment on PPP’s latest move to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan for disqualification of the prime minister while at the same time finding a solution of the issue from within the Parliament, the PPP spokesperson said: “We will pursue the case to its logical end both inside and outside the parliament. We will knock at the doors of all relevant institutions to see if they had any solution to this problem.”

He further explained that PPP’s decision to move the ECP was focused only on the prime minister and his family whereas the proposed judicial commission may include many others in its investigation.

It is relevant to mention here that PPP intends to file a disqualification petition in the ECP against the prime minister despite knowing that it had no powers to disqualify any member of the National Assembly on its own. Under the rules, the ECP can take action only on a reference from the Speaker National Assembly.