Govt says Opp’s demand to make Shehbaz PAC chairman is ‘unreasonable’

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–Info Minister Fawad says Opp parties hindering govt’s work by delaying formation of parliamentary committees 

–Says govt has formed commission to promote accountability, will hold all corrupt leaders accountable 

 

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said that the opposition’s demand to nominate Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was unreasonable.

Addressing a press conference, Fawad rejected the opposition’s insistence on nominating Shehbaz as the committee’s chairman during talks with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The minister accused the opposition of not letting the government perform its duties, adding that they were putting hurdles in the government’s way through the parliamentary platform.

The ruling PTI had earlier proposed to once again engage the opposition parties in an effort to break the deadlock over the issue of nomination of the chairman of the all-powerful PAC before making a “unilateral announcement” of the names of the members of all committees of the National Assembly.

Earlier, the info minister said that the party had asked National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak to hold talks with the leaders of parliamentary parties to get the issue resolved as early as possible since delay in the formation of the committees had started affecting the functioning of parliament.

Last month, parliamentary leaders of the PTI had decided that the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will not be appointed as the chairman of the PAC. The PTI lawmakers concluded that an impartial person would be selected in consultation with the prime minister.

Although there is no restriction on the government to give the chairmanship of the PAC to the opposition parties, it has been a tradition for the last 10 years that the office is given to an opposition member in order to ensure transparency in financial matters.

The PAC is the apex parliamentary watchdog that oversees the audit of revenue and expenditures by the government and it is considered to be the most powerful and important committee of parliament.

ACCOUNTABILITY COMMISSION:

Moreover, Fawad said that a commission was constituted to stop receiving of kickbacks.

He said that if a relevant department fails to provide information within 10 days then the commission can be approached.

The federal minister said that forming a commission to promote accountability is one of the first steps towards a corruption-free society. Fawad said that those who committed corruption worth billions in the past will be held accountable.

“These people have no remorse over their doings, they remain unabashed… Thankfully, it was their last election,” said the minister.

While responding to the criticism on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s 100-day plan, Fawad said that as many as 34 measures were taken within the initial 100 days, adding that the steps taken under Prime Minister Imran Khan were exemplary.