ISLAMABAD - The government has pointed out a series of lacunae in the opposition parties prepared terms of reference for the proposed judicial commission to probe Panama leaks and rejected it but kept the window of dialogue open on the matter with the opposition.

A high-level meeting was held at Prime Minister’s House yesterday under the chair of Prime Minister to have threadbare review of opposition parties tailored TORs.

The legal team of the government headed by Law Minister Zahid Hamid briefed the participants of the TORs. Pointing out a series of lacunae in the 15-point draft, Zahid Hamid and other participants of the meeting termed it Prime Minister-specific and said that in the current shape and form it could not serve the purpose of blanket accountability.

The Prime Minister also gave approval to the committee to engage the opposition parties in negotiations on the TORs and would listen to their objection on the government formed TORs and would also tell them the flaws in the TORs opposition partieas had prepared.

The committee would function under the head of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while its members included Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, State Minister Anusha Rehman and Advisor to PM on Law and Justice Barrister Zafarullah. The committee would have technical assistance of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid and Attorney General Aushter Aousaf would give their technical input to the committee as and when required during the negotiations process.

It was further decided in the meeting that the government would also take the coalition partners into confidence on the matter and before responding to the opposition it would take the reflection of the coalition parties heads on its decision of rejecting the opposition’s TORs.

Sources in the ruling PML-N informed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would likely to talk to the coalition parties heads today and after having their input on the matter would formally respond to the Leader of Opposition’s letter.

The meeting also discussed other options on tackling the Panama Papers leaks as the chances of Chief Justice of Pakistan to stay away from the controversy is increasing because in the face of growing discord and rift between the government and opposition on the matter, which is growing by every passing day, the Chief Justice of Pakistan can step back from forming a judicial commission.

The meeting held yesterday at the PM House was attended by Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Planning Minister Ch. Ahsan Iqbal, State Minister for Information Technology Ms Anusha Rehman, Advisor to PM on Law and Justice Barrister Zafarullah.

While rejecting the opposition parties TORs, terming it half-backed, biased and narrow in scope and limit the participants of the meeting said that the TORs already sent to the Chief Justice of Pakistan were comprehensive and have the capacity to cover corruption of all natures and types.

On top of it Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said that Chief Justice of Pakistan could make changes in the TORs if required and also assured the apex court all sort of assistance it requires in handling the matter.

The sources further informed The Nation that another high-level meeting would be held at Prime Minister’s House today for further deliberations on the opposition parties TORs and fine tune its response to it in the light of the input coming from the coalition partners on it.

The sources in the government further informed that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was already in contact with some opposition parties leaders to pave the way for negotiations on the TORs and the way forward on Panama leaks probe.