PML-N lawmaker Khawaja Saad Rafique on Friday appeared before the National Assembly for the first time since the issuance of his production orders by the speaker.
Rafique, in his address, termed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law as a “black law” that had been used to victimise political opponents since its inception. He raised questions over the accountability process, claiming that it was not fair and transparent.
“Even the accountability during the PML-N government was not transparent,” he said.
He also lamented the delay in the issuance of his production orders and said that if the speaker had issued them earlier, the assembly proceedings would not have been interrupted as they were due to walkout staged by the opposition.
Referring to his arrest in the Paragon Housing Society scam, he said that the NAB could not produce any evidence of wrongdoing against him. He claimed that a “dear old friend” of his was forced to turn into an approver, however, even he had failed to produce anything against the PML-N lawmaker.
Shahbaz Sharif elected PAC chairman unopposed:
Leader of Opposition in the Parliament Shahbaz Sharif was unanimously elected as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Shahbaz’s name for the position of PAC chairman was suggested by PML-N lawmaker Sheikh Rohail Asghar and was accepted without opposition. The PML-N president thanked members of the parliament for placing their trust in him and promised that he will ensure that the “accountability process is transparent”.
He stressed on the importance of improving the process of accountability.
Shahbaz also congratulated PPP leader Khursheed Shah — who was the previous chairman of the committee — for running PAC effectively.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Aamir Dogar, who was also present on the occasion, congratulated Shahbaz on behalf of the government.
The first formal PAC meeting will take place on Dec 28, Shahbaz announced.
Shahbaz’s election as PAC chairman comes after a nearly four-month impasse during which the government vehemently objected to his nomination due to his alleged involvement in the Ashiana scam that is currently being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau.
Shahbaz is one of the prime accused and is currently under judicial remand. His designated residence in Islamabad was declared as a sub-jail after the National Assembly speaker issued his production orders so that the PML-N chief could attend the ongoing parliamentary session.
The opposition had refused to nominate another member, arguing that according to parliamentary tradition, the leader of the opposition heads the PAC.
The government finally relented to the opposition’s demand last week.
Meanwhile, PTI’s Riaz Fatyana was elected as chairman of Standing Committee on Law unopposed.