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November 10, 2018
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Bilawal turns down govt offer to head PAC

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November 10, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari rejected the government offer to head the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) replying that the parliamentary tradition be followed in this regard. According to sources, the government contacted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to head the PAC instead of opposition leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif but he politely refused arguing that the PPP will not go against the parliamentary practice which was started in the PPP tenure. Sources in the PPP were of the view that offer seemed to be government effort to divide the opposition in Parliament. When contacted, PPP senior parliamentarian Syed Naveed Qamar confirmed that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari declined to head the PAC.

“Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry contacted PPP chairman but he declined the offer politely and asked the government to follow the parliamentary practice,” he said.

Syed Naveed Qamar said as per parliamentary practice either the opposition leader in the National Assembly or his nominee should take charge of the PAC. “But the government offer seems to be part to divide the opposition,” he said.

It is to mention here that the government has already rejected Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif to head the committee. As the both government and opposition refused to show any flexibility on the issue, the formation of standing committees of the National Assembly delayed as the opposition has warned if opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif was not given chairmanship of the PAC as per parliamentary practice, opposition will not give the names for standing committees of the National Assembly and even will boycott them.

Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain denied having made a formal offer to PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to become chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

In reaction to media reports, the minister explained that no formal offer was made. It was a general talk that anyone, including Bilawal, might be the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee; the government would have no objection to that.

“But in principle, it is right of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to head the committee. We should do audit of the projects carried out during the regime of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and when it is turn of our projects, the opposition should have its chairman of the committee,” he emphasised.

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