A lawmaker of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from District Shaheed Benazirabad was elected the new chairman of the Sindh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday.
Ghulam Qadir Chandio was elected in the face of the three main opposition parties — the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and the Grand Democratic Alliance — demanding the coveted position for the provincial legislature’s opposition leader.
The newly constituted PAC held its first meeting and unanimously chose Chandio as chairman of the powerful committee of the House for the accountability of the provincial government’s accounts.
Besides Chandio, those who attended the first meeting were PPP legislators Faryal Talpur, Abdul Karim Soomro, Syed Farrukh Ahmed Shah and Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran. Barrister Murtaza Wahab, the chief minister’s information and law adviser, especially attended the meeting.
The participants of the meeting congratulated Chandio on his election as the new chairman of the PAC. He is a veteran lawmaker of Sindh’s ruling party.
PA session adjourned
The ongoing session of the Sindh Assembly, which resumed after a gap of eight days on Thursday, was adjourned till April 8 without any formal proceedings due to lack of quorum in the house.
The current session has been in progress since January 9.
Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani pointed out at the outset of the assembly’s sitting that there were only five lawmakers in attendance. He said that there was no point in continuing with the session when the quorum requirement was not met.
Speaking to journalists after the adjournment, lawmakers of three main opposition parties criticised the conduct of the speaker. They said that the speaker had been running the session at his whim and pleasure.
The leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Muttahida Quami Movement and Grand Democratic Alliance said that it had been a routine for the speaker to summon a session and then adjourn it.
They said that the speaker had hurriedly adjourned the proceedings of the house in order to avoid agitation.
The MPAs said the session was being run in total disregard to the Rules of Procedure of the Sindh Assembly. They said that they would continue with their agitation drive inside and outside the house against the provincial government’s “undemocratic acts and policies”.
They also rejected the move of constituting a new Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the assembly comprising lawmakers only of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), adding that the PPP had no regard for the Charter of Democracy (CoD).
The lawmakers demanded that the chairmanship of the PAC should be given to an opposition leader as per the CoD.