Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said the statement of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif against corruption is absolutely right. Talking to a private TV channel, the minister said the government will develop unanimity of views with all the political parties on the formation of the Panama inquiry commission. He said a consensus on the proposed inquiry commission was very important for an independent and transparent investigation.
He said the name of the prime minister was not mentioned in the report, adding that if someone has evidence then he should present it before the commission. The minister said Justice (retd) Sarmad Jalal Osmany had earned a good name and nobody could raise an objection on his integrity and decisions.
Replying to a question, he said the PTI chief Imran Khan had admitted in his statement that making offshore companies was not an illegal thing. To another question, he said the people of the country had given their mandate to the PML-N for a constitutional term of five years and the government would complete its tenure.
The minister said that the armed forces had rendered sacrifices in the war against terrorism. He said it was the right of the people to know details of the funds which were collected in the name of flood victims in 2010 by the Imran Khan Foundation.
Meanwhile, Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that in the past politics was done in the garb of corruption and corruption was done in the garb of politics.Talking to private news channels, the minister said elimination of corruption from the country was the national agenda of the incumbent government. “During General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s regime, no one could find any record of corruption,” he added. He said an accountability process and law that was acceptable to all should be introduced.
The continuity of the democratic system is essential to bring transparency and eliminate corruption from the country, he said. The minister said that all the political parties should use the platform of parliament and evolve a strategy in order to eliminate corruption. Accountability in the past, he said, had been made ridiculous and many governments have been shown the door in the name of corruption. “It is a part of history that those persons who were charged with corruption had been a part of the government,” he said.
The minister said General Raheel Sharif’s statement on corruption was a part of the government’s national agenda. He said eradication of corruption was also a part of the PML-N manifesto during the general election 2013 as every person wants to see the country free of corruption.
He said although the name of the prime minister was not mentioned in the Panama Papers, nevertheless he immediately announced to form an inquiry commission to investigate the matter. “There is a difference of opinion among the political parties on the formation of an inquiry commission, as some of the political parties are demanding a parliamentary commission, while others want a judicial commission,” he said.
He said the government was in contact with all the political parties in this regard. He said the matter would be resolved through consultation.Replying to a question, the minister, quoting an Amnesty International report, said there was a decline in corruption and terrorism in Pakistan.