PML-N replaces Shehbaz with Taveer in PAC, Asif as parliamentary leader

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominated Rana Tanveer to replace Shehbaz Sharif as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman.

Khawaja Asif has been nominated as parliamentary leader. Asif was nominated parliamentary leader by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. “Khawaja Asif was made parliamentary leader on the request of Shehbaz Sharif,” Abbasi said. 

The PML-N parliamentary party was informed that under the current circumstances, Shehbaz Sharif felt it was not right to continue with the chairmanship. Shehbaz took the decision after consultation with party chairman Nawaz Sharif.

“Shehbaz Sharif nominated Rana Tanveer as PAC chairman and Khawaja Asif as parliamentary leader,” official informed media, adding that Shehbaz had not wanted to become PAC chairman and had only assumed the post after the insistence of the opposition and parliamentary advisory group.

Official further told media that the PML-N is also holding discussions on appointing Abbasi as the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly. However, a decision on this will be taken when Shehbaz returns to the country.

Moreover, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has said, he does not have an issue with whoever the opposition appoints as chairman.

Official added that final decision on replacing the NA opposition leader would be taken by Nawaz Sharif.

Shehbaz Sharif left for London last month and is receiving medical treatment there.  Speaking to reporters, Khawaja Asif assured that Sharif would return to the country and attend the National Assembly session on the budget.  

Last year, Sharif was elected chairman of the parliamentary watchdog unopposed after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government conceded the chairmanship to the PML-N leader.

The PML-N meeting was presided by Raja Zafar-ul-Haq and Asif and was attended by Abbasi, Tanveer, Khurram Dastagir, Mushahid Hussain and other members. 

‘Shehbaz won’t come back’

Special assistant to the prime minister on information Firdous Ashiq Awan told media that Shehbaz Sharif would not be returning to Pakistan.

“If he wanted to return from London he would not even appoint someone as a chowkidar (guard) outside his home….They [Sharif’s] divide these positions within the family. If they have started appointing people outside the family to these positions it indicates this is the first step towards an NRO,” Awan added.

Awan when asked if an NRO had been given, said the Sharif’s need to answer questions about their alleged corruption in court.

Responding to the PML-N’s announcement, Minister of State for Communications and Federal Minister for Postal Services Murad Saeed said, “The opposition had been protesting over the PAC chairmanship and had made it clear they will not let the Parliament function until Shehbaz had been elected.”

“Public money was spent on this and now when there are scandals and cases against them, they have decided to run out of the country,” he added.