Political tension looms over PAC chairmanship as PML-N takes tough decision

  • Fawad Chaudhry had said “Appointing a PML-N man as the PAC chairman will be like asking the fox to guard the hen house”

ISLAMABAD – Angry over Pakistan Tehreek-e-insaf-led government’s reluctance, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has decided to give a tough time to the ruling party if not given the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

In a key meeting attending by the members of the party, the major opposition party has decided to quit from all other committees, including standing committees, if the government fails to appoint the PAC chairman from the opposition.

On September 25, a session of the PML-N had decided the names of its lawmakers to appoint as the head of parliamentary committees and reached on a consensus that party President Shehbaz Sharif will be named as candidate for chairman PAC.

However, the government seems reluctant to continue a parliamentary tradition of appointing the leader of the opposition as the chairman of PAC due to fears of intervention in audit of the previous government’s financial matters.

The incumbent government is of the view that the committee will be auditing the revenue and expenditures of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government and appointing their man will not be suitable.

All parliamentary parties get representation and chairmanship of the committee in proportionate to their seats in the National Assembly. As per the rule, the PML-N is due to get the chairmanship of nine committees while the opposition party wanted to head the PAC as it has, according to sources, informed the NA Speaker Asad Qaiser about its desire.

The government, under the law, is not bound to offer the chairmanship of the all-important PAC to opposition parties, but it has been happened in the past as a parliamentary practice and tradition in order to ensure transparency in financial matters.

Earlier, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that the PML-N wanted to get the PAC chairmanship but the government has not taken any decision in this regard.

Expressing the views of the government about PAC appointment, he said: “Appointing a PML-N man as the PAC chairman will be like asking the fox to guard the hen house”.