Shehbaz’s resignation from PAC can disrupt the House, says Qureshi


–Says recent developments have given rise to ‘deal’ speculations

–Qureshi hails UNSC resolution on Azhar as a victory for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif’s resignation from the chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) can disrupt the proceedings of the National Assembly (NA).

Addressing the media in Islamabad, he said that the “shocking decision” of the opposition leader can affect the smooth functioning of the House. He said that PML-N has the authority to decide which workers do they want to promote as it is their internal matter but some decisions are not just limited to their party. “They are related to the parliament and become a problem for all of us. For example, their decision to change their parliamentary leader,” he said.

Justifying the recent reshuffle in the federal cabinet, he said that although the decision sparked many questions and speculations, decisions like these are normal in a democratic country. “I wonder if PML-N would tell the parliament about the reasons behind this ‘sudden change’,” he added. He said that this decision even caught PML-N surprised and the whole parliamentary party is in shock. “Except for the ‘gang of four’, nobody knew about this,” he said.

He also said that NA Speaker Asad Qaiser had recently formed a parliamentary committee for national security and it is uncertain whether the PML-N president will be on its panel. He also said that these recent developments have added fuel to the speculations that a ‘deal’ has been achieved between the government and the Sharif family. “Maybe none of these speculations are true. I cannot say for sure,” he said.

FM Qureshi further said that there were rumours about Shehbaz relinquishing his post in favour of former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi but the party had denied them. “PML-N has cited Shehbaz’s health as the reason behind this decision,” he said. The former minister asked that if his health does not allow him to be a parliamentary leader, then how can he play the role of the opposition leader. “Eventually he will have to step down from that post as well and if he does not do that then why did he resign from PAC chairmanship,” Qureshi said, adding that these developments have raised a lot of new questions.

Talking about the recent decision of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to place Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar on the global terror list, he said that despite India’s efforts, the resolution had no mention of Pakistan’s involvement in any terror activity in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). “This is a clear victory for Pakistan,” he concluded.