ISLAMABAD (MAMOSA Report): Chairman Senate, Raza Rabbani on Tuesday underscored the need for putting in place a mechanism of accountability which functions without giving any regard to the ‘sacred cow’.
The senior Peoples Party leader’s comment comes amid intense background discussions between all parties post-Panama Papers leak in which PM Nawaz Sharif’s family and 220 other Pakistanis have been named as owners, operators or beneficiaries of offshore companies.
“All political forces stand on one page when it comes to promotion of the cause of democracy. Any attempt to change the course of a river could trigger flooding,” he warned while talking to media persons here.
He said accountability of all and sundry must be carried out under one institution, as indiscriminate treatment nurtures trust and confidence.
Rabbani regretted that he still sees no action on the government’s part over the opposition’s recommendations for putting in place an effective mechanism of accountability. “Where the Federation stands today, it is in great need of democracy and democratic institutions,” he added.
He said no matter how sluggish the government forces may be, the country has no other option available to it for a way forward.
“The river must be allowed to flow freely in the direction that it naturally does,” he added.
Earlier this week, in an unprecedented move, the military fired several high-ranking officers on graft charges days after the Army Chief called for across-the-board accountability.
General Raheel Sharif drew direct linkages between terrorism and corruption, saying, “The ongoing war against terrorism cannot bring enduring peace and stability unless corruption is uprooted. Therefore, across the board accountability is necessary for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of Pakistan.”
He said this to a military gathering in Kohat, a northwestern town close to Pakistan’s turbulent tribal region.
On Tuesday, top lawyer Asma Jahangir said instead of constituting a judicial commission, a parliamentary panel should investigate the Panama leaks while the Terms of Reference (ToRs) should mention PM Nawaz Sharif and opposition leader’s names.
Ms. Jahangir urged all institutions to start self-accountability.
PM Sharif has upgraded the probe by requesting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to form commission for Panama Papers affair as well as all previous white-collar crimes.
Pressure is mounting on Sharif in the wake of the Panama Papers leak, pushing the country toward a political crisis that could see invariably all parties banding together for change either through the parliament or snap elections. Sharif says he has not been named in the leaks and that he is confident his three children named did no illegal and wrongful financial or tax-related activities at home or abroad.