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Federal govt in hot water at this stage of Panamagate case: Khurshid

By Our Correspondent 2017-01-21
SUKKUR: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah has said that the federal government is in hot water over the Panama Papers leaks case now after the Supreme Court was told that tens of millions of rupees were `gifts` changing hands within the prime minister`s family.

He also repeated the proposal he had floated in parliament a few years ago that the tenure of an elected government be slashed to four years from five.

Mr Shah was responding to questions posed by journalists during his visit to the Sukkur barrage foran inspection on Friday. He, however, warned against jumping to any conclusion over court proceedings at this stage, saying that much was yet to happen as the bench was to hear more lawyers, see more documents and judge more evidence.

Without discussing the merits of his proposal in the context of the case, the opposition leader said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif still had time to mull over it.

In reply to a question about the PPP`s much-orchestrated mass mobilisation campaign against the government, Khurshid Shah said thathispartyhadalreadylaunched a `mass contact drive` as the four demands presented to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz by PPPchairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari were not met by the given deadline [Dec 27, 2016].

`In the second phase, a massive political long march will be held under the leadership of Mr BhuttoZardari from Rahimyar Khan to Multan,` he added.

Barrage inspection After inspecting different parts of the Sukkur barrage, the senior PPP leader expressed his dissatisfaction over the maintenance work being carried out by the irrigation department.

He noted that despite closing canals for annual cleaning and getting the required funds released,gates of the barrage were not closed.

Speaking to senior barrage ofEcials,he saidthatproperrepairand maintenance would definitely keep the barrage in perfect order but there was a need for a new structure to cater to present-day needs.

Mr Shah called for starting the planning for a new barrage right now, arguing that no fewer than 10 years would be required to give shape to the design and many other things before starting construction work for the mega project.

Additional Irrigation Secretary Aslam Ansari and Sul(kur Barrage Chief Engineer Wali Mohammed Naich gave a briefing to Mr Shah on the working and condition of the barrage.