Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan warned on Sunday that he would dissociate himself from the parliamentary watchdog if the government continued creating hurdles in the committee’s workings. “If the government continues to ridicule the decisions of the committee, I will resign from the post,” said Chaudhry Nisar at a press conference on Saturday.
He said he had initially decided to announce his resignation at the briefing but changed his decision on the instruction of his party leadership.
Chaudhry Nisar said that a PAC meeting would be held at the end of August to look into the replacement of the Auditor General of Pakistan and implementation over PAC’s findings.
“I am going to give the government a ‘last opportunity’ on the instructions of my party leadership,” he said.
Chaudhry Nisar said the PAC recovered Rs115 billion during the last three years, cleared the backlog of last 40 years and has compiled all pending reports.
With the backlog cleared, the PAC is going to inspect financial affairs of the current regime from its next round of meetings, he said. It would be the first time in our history that a PAC will look into the current government’s affairs, he added.
“The government wants to disrupt the momentum PAC had gained,” Khan said, adding that international organisations including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and USAID had appreciated the work done by the committee.
Chaudhry Nisar said the government had paralysed the process of accountability.
Institutions have been made ineffective since the government is not implementing orders of the Supreme Court, has not appointed Chairman National Accountability Bureau and an ombudsman, he said, adding that the PAC’s incapacitation is next on the agenda.
“The government has appointed an acting auditor general merely to hush up its corruption,” he added.
Malik Riaz meets Nawaz Sharif
Chaudhry Nisar confirmed a meeting between PML-N president Nawaz Sharif and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, who has allegedly occupied state and private land illegally.
“Malik Riaz came as a messenger of President Asif Ali Zardari,” Khan said, adding rhetorically: “Is there no one trustworthy in the PPP that the President sent his message thorough Riaz?”
He refused to share details of the meeting but said “it is worrisome for the prime minister.”
He also dismissed media reports suggesting differences between him and his party as an exaggeration.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.