Sharif to leave for Turkey on Saturday

NawazIslamabad, (IANS) Amid opposition protests in the National Assembly over Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s continuous absence, the Pakistan premier was on Friday set to embark on a one-day private visit to Turkey, media reported.

The prime minister was expected to attend the National Assembly session on Friday to face a number of questions tabled by the opposition members over the issue of Panama leaks but, according to Dunya News, the decision to attend the house was suddenly postponed till Monday.

It was also announced that Sharif would go to Turkey on Saturday on a private visit.

Meanwhile, opposition members staged a walkout from the National Assembly in protest against Sharif’s continued absence from the House.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Naveed Qamar said opposition lawmakers won’t sit in Parliament until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responds to their questions.

Later, the assembly session was adjourned due to lack of quorum.

On the other hand, a joint meeting of the opposition parties chaired by Senator Aitzaz Ahsan took place at Parliament House. Members of PPP, Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf and other opposition parties participated in the meeting.

The meeting decided to boycott proceedings until the Prime Minister arrived in the House.

The opposition has demanded that it be taken into confidence on the Panama Papers Leaks.

The Panama Papers are an unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The records were obtained from an anonymous source by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The ICIJ then shared them with a large network of international partners, including the Guardian and the BBC. News daily Indian Express was also among those with which the information was shared.

The names of a number of politicians across the world have figured in the Panama Papers — which name 259 Pakistanis as having interests in offshore companies. Sharif’s three children are among those named as having offshore wealth.

Medaram Jathara

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