ISLAMABAD: The main opposition parties on Thursday reiterated their demand for the prime minister to immediately step down in the wake of joint investigation team (JIT) report in the Panama Papers case. Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah said Nawaz Sharif had lost moral authority to stay in his position, urging him to nominate another candidate for the office so that the government could complete its five-year term. He warned the government against confrontation with the judiciary and said the PPP would stand by the state institutions. “Times have changed … it’s no longer 90s,” he said. Shah said the PPP didn’t exert pressure on the JIT as it wanted the investigating panel to carry out its responsibilities independently. “When Shahbaz Sharif is asked about Qatari prince, he says he doesn’t know. When the same question is posed to Nawaz Sharif, he says Hassan and Hussain can answer,” he said, adding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s work visa was a cause of shame for the entire nation. Shah said the incumbent leadership had caused irreparable loss to institutions. Taking a swipe at the PML-N leadership, he asked if they would again confront the public and the judiciary. He questioned why no action had been taken against the prime minister so far. He said that Nawaz Sharif lacks the courage to confront the democratic political parties of the country. He asked the PM to resign as Pakistan needed a powerful chief executive. He said the PPP always stood for strong democratic system, adding that the presence of Nawaz Sharif as Leader of the House would weaken the parliament. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Jehangir Tareen claimed that divisions have surfaced within the PML-N over resignation of the prime minister. “One group wants the PM to resign while the other wants confrontation,” he said, adding there was a lot of evidence in the JIT report to declare Nawaz Sharif ineligible for the public office. Qureshi complained that the PM used the words of ‘conspirators’ for them. He demanded the names of those involved in the so-called conspiracy be revealed. He said that a joint meeting of all opposition parties would be held on Friday (today) to prepare an appropriate strategy against the government. He said session of the Senate has been called on July 17, the day the Supreme Court’s special bench would hold its next hearing in the Panama case. Qureshi said he was in touch with all the opposition parties, adding that the PTI and PPP had already signed the application calling for a session of the National Assembly. The PTI leader said he was also in touch with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). Earlier in the day, Khurshid Shah met Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed to ask for his support against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Published in Daily Times, July 14th , 2017.