PAC chief slot widens PTI-JUI-F gap

Maulana-led party floats name of Noor Alam Khan for post

Our Correspondent April 21, 2024


The opposition is divided over the position of the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee as after PTI’s Sher Afzal Marwat, JUI-F’s Noor Alam Khan has also joined the race for the slot.

The ruling alliance seems to be throwing its weight behind the JUI-F contender for the race.

The appointment of the PAC chief after the National Assembly leader of the opposition has opened a new Pandora's Box.

After Marwat’s nomination for the PAC chairman position by PTI founding chairman Imran Khan, the name of JUI-F’s Noor Alam Khan also started circulating for the slot on the opposition’s side.

According to sources, Noor has started back doors contacts for the PAC chief’s slot, while the ruling alliance parties are also leaning towards him instead of giving the chairmanship of the important committee to a PTI nominee.

The PAC of parliament will comprise 10 members each from the National Assembly and Senate.

According to the NA rules, the chairpersonship of the PAC is supposed to be with the opposition.

However, there is a possibility that the number of government members in the PAC will increase because of their two-thirds majority in the parliament.

It is because of this reason that Noor’s chances are brighter than Marwat to clinch the PAC top slot as the government members are likely to vote for the JUI-F candidate rather than the PTI leader.

According to the sources, after the formation of the PAC, its chairperson will be elected. However, both the government and opposition have not yet presented any names for the members of any parliamentary committee including the PAC.

Seeds of discord were sown between the PTI and JUI-F recently after slogans were shouted against the latter’s chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, in the six-party opposition alliance’s first rally in Pishin town of Balochistan against the ruling parties over the alleged “theft of mandate”.

Both the PTI and JUI-F have remained at loggerheads with one another for a long time.

Imran and other party leaders would call the JUI-F chief “diesel” in rallies and media interactions, referring to an accusation that Fazl had purportedly benefitted financially by receiving fuel permits during the PPP government in the 1990s.

The thaw in relations between the two bitter political arch-rivals was seen when both sides finally sat together to discuss the situation in the country and initiate dialogue with other political forces in October last year.

The first formal contact between the two sides came after Imran gave his nod to proceed with the move.

It was seen as a major political U-turn by the PTI to lower tensions between the two sides when its leaders visited the JUI-F chief’s residence.

Following the meeting, PTI leaders including Asad Qaiser, Ali Muhammad Khan, and Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, even offered prayers behind Fazl -- that too keeping in view the sentiments that their party and its leadership had for him.

Before and after the elections, both sides have held several meetings and were seen coming closer to each other as well as mulling to start a joint movement against the government over what they called “massive rigging” in the general elections.

However, on the day of their first rally, the JUI-F accused PTI’s Marwat of insulting the Maulana, demanding that party must control its leaders.

During the rally, Marwat was seen asking people not to chant the slogan of “diesel” as talks were still under way with the JUI-F.

While accusing the PTI of having double standards, a JUI-F spokesperson said that its “hypocrisy” had come to the fore at the opposition parties’ first rally.


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