Deadlock on PAC chair, committee formation persists

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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has said the provision of equal rights to all members of the Assembly was his top priority.

He said this while chairing a meeting of the opposition and the government to find a breakthrough in deciding the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

According to official, the meeting held discussions on finding a way out, adding progress had not been made between the two parties in this regard.

The speaker said he had a close relation with most of the MMA lawmakers. He added that the treasury and opposition were two parts of parliament and “legislation can only come in force through the cooperation of both of them”.

He informed that it was his responsibility to conduct the house proceedings as per the rules and the regulations. He appealed the treasury  and opposition to play their effective role in running the house.

The speaker said every member and every party had the right to have a different opinion but it was the joint responsibility of the lawmakers to maintain a friendly atmosphere.

He requested the lawmakers to break the deadlock over the formation of the standing committees.

The representatives of MMA assured the speaker of their support for effectively running the parliamentary proceedings.

The Speaker also met the MNAs of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) at the Parliament House. MMA members included Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, Afreen Khan, Zahid Akram Durrani, Muhammad Anwar, Asad Mehmood, Muneer Khan Orakzai, Muhammad Jamaluddin, Abdul Shakoor, Abdul Wasay, Kamaluddin, Salahuddin Ayubi, Asmatullah, Syed Mehmood Shah, James Iqbal, Alia Kamran and Shahida Akhtar Ali.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan had been specially called up for the session.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Opposition hardened its stance on the issue of chairmanship of all-powerful PAC as National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser struggled to kick-start house business.

He held back-to-back meetings with the treasury and opposition in an effort to end a deadlock over the issue and start the process of formation of house committees.

The opposition had threatened to boycott all the committees if the ruling party did not offer the PAC chairmanship to Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif as per the “parliamentary traditions”.