The PTI government finally conceded and agreed with opposition to make opposition leader in the national assembly Shahbaz Sharif as chairman Public Accounts Committee. This agreement between the government and opposition will help to end the deadlock between both sides in the national assembly.
PTI earlier announced to resist the demand of the opposition parties to nominate Shahbaz Sharif as PAC chairman. This deadlock between the government and opposition delayed the formation of parliamentary committees. Both PML-N and PPP refused to accept any other person as chairman PAC instead of opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced the decision in the national assembly, bringing to an end months of an impasse that had been hampering the legislative process for months. The breakthrough came after Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan met Shehbaz Sharif in his chambers for talks on the issue.
Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told lawmakers that the government would not obstruct the leader of the opposition from assuming the PAC chairmanship. “We suggest you to appoint someone else but if you (leader of the opposition) want to be chairman PAC, we will not obstruct in the interest of democracy,” he said.
“We met Prime Minister Imran Khan today … We had offered the opposition to nominate any person other than Shehbaz Sharif but they did not budge. Imran Khan has reviewed his decision and if Shehbaz Sharif wants to head the PAC, the government will not obstruct… we concede to the opposition’s demand,” he said.
However, the minister stressed that since PAC would have to give opinion about audit paras of government expenses during the last tenure, it would be improper that the opposition leader was heading the Committee reviewing the audit-paras of PML-N tenure.
The minister called for constituting a special committee to look into the audit-paras related to the expenses or projects of the PML-N tenure, which would not be headed by the leader of the opposition. “It will be better to have accountability through a person facing no controversy,” he suggested.
Defence minister Pervaiz Khattak told the media that they discussed matters pertaining to the formation of the National Assembly standing committees. It was agreed that Shehbaz Sharif would be the PAC chairman, while a special committee headed by a PTI lawmaker will review the audit objections of the PML-N tenure.
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17 August, 2019