ISLAMABAD - In the maiden meeting of Parliamentary Committee on Panama Papers, written off loans and kickbacks, both the government and opposition finalised the working plan for the committee which would start its regular meetings from today (Thursday).

The government and opposition members of the committee exchanged terms of reference (ToRs), for the proposed judicial commission, already prepared by both sides for review.

To maintain parity between the two sides it was agreed that the committee would not have any chairman. It was further decided that the proceedings of the committee shall be held in-camera.

The meeting, which took place in the Speaker’s chamber, was also attended by Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah and National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq besides the government and opposition members of the committee.

After the meeting, Leader of Opposition in Senate Ch Aitzaz Ahsan said they have finalised the working mode of the committee which would meet on daily basis to come up with some consensus on ToRs for the judicial commission.

He thanked Khursheed Shah and Speaker Ayaz Sadiq for assisting them in working out the modus operandi of the Parliamentary Committee.

To a question he said that it was decided that instead of majority vote the decision on finalising ToRs should be made with consensus.

To another question, Barrister Aitzaz said the committee would come up with draft legislation for constituting a judicial commission because the Supreme Court in its reply to government request had stated that the commission under 1956 act would not suffice the needs or the probe in current matter.

He said that committee would decide how to proceed further on Panama Papers probe and expressed his optimism that they would not disappoint the people of Pakistan.

The copies of the letter of Law Ministry to the Supreme Court, ToRs proposed by the government and the joint opposition, and the reply of SC Registrar were circulated among the members.

Senators Ishaq Dar, Aitzaz Ahsan, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Ali Saif and Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, and MNAs Khawaja Asif, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Sahibzada Tariq Ullah and Ch Tariq Bashir Cheema attended the meeting as members of the Committee. Law Minister Zahid Hamid also attended the meeting as ex-officio member.

Minister Khawaja Asif said that the meeting was held in cordial and comfortable atmosphere and they would try to maintain the conciliatory atmosphere and come up with some mutually acceptable solution to the issue.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the strength of the committee should not be altered and they would make sure that government would not add up to the existing strength of the 12-member parliamentary body.