Opposition stage sit-in as senate body failed to approve Panama Bill

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ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties’ senators on Tuesday staged a sit-in against Chairman Senate’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice for sending the Panama Inquiry Bill to Chairman Senate after opposition and government failed to develop consensus on the draft law.
The committee met here with its chairman Senator Murtaza Javed Abbasi in the chair. The committee deliberated over the opposition’s Panama Inquiry Bill 2016. The Opposition and Government failed to evolve consensus on the Bill due to which the chairman sent the Bill to Chairman Senate.
During the meeting opposition agreed to amend its bill, but Law Minister Zahid Hamid objected on the procedure of amendment, saying that amendments to the Bill could not be made without first submitting the proposed amendments in black and white with the committee.
On this Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said that the government was trying to escape from accountability. When Chairman of the Committee decided to refer the matter to Senate Chairman, the opposition lawmakers lodged strong protest. The opposition senator came out of Parliament and staged protest sit-in. They resorted to sloganeering against the government.
Law Minister Zahid Hamid said that Panama Leaks issue was pending before Supreme Court and therefore as per SC instructions legislation on the matter at this point of time would be inappropriate.
Aitzaz said that they would not boycott the Standing Committee’s meeting and would be presenting their stance in the committee. He said that the government wanted to escape from accountability which would not be allowed.

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