ISLAMABAD - The legal and political brains of the government yesterday briefed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the terms of reference prepared by joint opposition for the proposed judicial commission and it was decided to engage some opposition parties in dialogue process for which the backdoor contacts were already established with some key opposition leaders.

Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s House, which was attended by a few federal ministers and advisors of the government, informed The Nation that Advisor to Prime Minister on Law and Justice Barrister Zafarullah gave a detailed view of the opposition’s prepared TORs and its legal, political and constitutional implications.

Sources further said that it was the unanimous view of all the participants that the Prime Minister must not show any leniency to the opposition parties and should talk to them from the position of strength.

Legal aides of the Prime Minister said that all the TORs of the opposition could not be accepted as these were just focused on the Panama Leaks while the government prepared TORs were much comprehensive and would also be checking all those who had made money by misuse of their official status and got their loans written off in the past.

Advisor to Prime Minister on National Heritage Irfan Siddiqui said that they would examine the TORs of opposition parties and could incorporate some of these if seemed fruitful in tracing out the corruption done in the past.

He further said that political people always remained open to dialogue so they could engage opposition parties in negotiation to search truth and pointing out all those who had looted and plundered the national wealth by getting their loans written off or making money by misuse of authority. Of course they would also want to bring truth to the fore in case of Panama Papers leaks, he added.

Sources in the ruling party informed that contrary to their public position some of the trusted party aides were in contact with the opposition parties leaders mainly from Pakistan People’s Party.

It was in this backdrop that Speaker National Assembly held meeting with Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah in his chamber yesterday and discussed with him the current political turmoil in the country which has the potential of even derailing the system. In the meeting, Federal Minister Pervaiz Rasheed and Khwaja Saad Rafique were also present and they tried to convince the Leader of Opposition not to take the things to the level where the whole system could land in trouble.

These sources said that in a next few days the PML-N leaders would be meeting the senior PPP leaders to convince them not to take the things to a point of no return and resolve the matter through negotiations and at the platform of the Parliament.

Sources in PML-N said that the government is trying to woo the Pakistan People’s Party as PML-N leaders believed that PTI and some other opposition parties were playing in the hands of forces which did not want to see the democratic order take roots in the country.

It was further decided in the meeting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would take a strong position against the opposition parties in his public addresses and would continue to highlight the government’s agenda of development while some senior party leaders with dovish tendency would continue their efforts to convince Pakistan People’s Party and some other opposition parties except PTI to avoid confrontational course. The formal reply to the TORs prepared by the opposition parties and engaging them in overt negotiations would be made when the opposition parties would formally send it to the government, sources further informed.