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November 10, 2018

NA fails to form panels even after 3 months


November 10, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) has failed to constitute its standing committees even in three months since the appointment of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman has become bone of contention between the government and opposition.

The opposition has decided to stay away from taking part in the process as long as question of PAC chairman appointment isn’t sorted out.

The committee system is viewed as backbone of the parliamentary form of government. The leader of the opposition is traditionally appointed as the PAC chairman but the PTI government opposed the idea tooth and nail as it does not want to see Shahbaz Sharif its chairman. The opposition has decided to concede in the interest of the system and proposed Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Bilawal Zardari as alternatives. But the government’s stalwarts have turned down Khawaja Asif’s name but they are silent about the other name.

Well placed parliamentary sources told The News here Friday that ruling party is interested in bringing PAC chairman of its choice.

According to the rules, no criteria is determined in the book but it is the prerogative of the speaker to appoint any member of the house for the slot. It is unlikely that any understanding could be developed before the next sitting of the National Assembly regarding the appointment of PAC chairman, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the incumbent National Assembly’s 4th session that continued here in the Parliament House for 12 days concluded amid allegations and counter allegations by the two sides of the aisle and it failed in adopting full agenda on any of the days. The session where Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif was brought by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as its detainee took part in its proceedings regularly but Leader of the House Prime Minister Imran Khan didn’t appear for one single occasion during these days. The proceedings were marred by foul mouthing of hawks of the two divides, where the legislature couldn’t transact any legislation which is the prime function of the house.

The Parliamentary sources told The News that opposition has planned to requisition another session of the National Assembly and the petition for the purpose would be submitted in a day or two after obtaining signatures of the members. The opposition has withdrawn its request for requisitioning of the session that was submitted last month but the government summoned the sitting on 31st of last month that concluded on Friday. The National Assembly will be summoned on 26th of this month as per parliamentary calendar but requisitioned session could be held before in third week of this month, the sources pointed out.

The discussion on the vote of thanks resolution to the President’s address that he delivered in the joint sitting of the two houses in September last could not initiated although it is on the agenda for third consecutive sitting of the National Assembly. The discussion on economic situation that was started last week remains inclusive in the just concluded sitting of the National Assembly.

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