Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will today make his first appearance in parliament since the Panama Papers revelations about his family’s offshore holdings caused a political uproar in the country.
However, the revelations that his arch-rival, PTI chief Imran Khan, had also set up an offshore company have eased some pressure.
“The prime minister will come up with lots of substance, which should be sufficient for his own constituency and the more fair-minded critics, since the opposition always manages to find some fault,” Dawn quoted a key adviser to the Prime Minister as saying.
The adviser added that the Sharif was now in a better position to defend the case of his three children, given that several key opposition members, including PTI’s Imran Khan, Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan, PPP senators Rehman Malik and Osman Saifullah as well as Moonis Elahi, the son of former deputy PM Pervaiz Elahi, would have to answer regarding their direct or indirect links to offshore companies in tax havens.
Apart from responding to the opposition’s queries, the Prime Minister reportedly would urge political leaders across the board to come up with a collective strategy to root out the evil of money laundering once and for all.
According to reports, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is said to have played a key role in the preparation of notes for the Prime Minister, whereas Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has been tasked with phrasing the response.
Meanwhile, the opposition will be meeting again ahead of the assembly session this afternoon to thrash out a strategy before going into the session.
“Opposition parties will meet and discuss our response in case the PM avoids answering the seven questions that have been conveyed to the government through the National Assembly speaker,” PTI chief whip Dr. Shireen Mazari said.
PTI spokesperson Naeemul Haq confirmed that Imran Khan was due to return to Pakistan on today and would also be attending the National Assembly sitting.