ISLAMABAD: The move to remove Fauzia Wahab as chairperson of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance gained momentum on Wednesday after four more members of the committee submitted an application to Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, asking her to remove Ms Wahab.
Khwaja Asif, Nighat Parveen, Khalida Mansoor and Mohammad Jamil Malik, all belonging to PML-N, said in their application that they wanted the chairperson of the standing committee to be removed.
The first application for Ms Wahab’s removal was submitted on Dec 3 by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of PML-N, Kashmala Tariq of PML-Q, Bushra Gohar of ANP and Abdul Rashid Godil of MQM.
After the PML-N members’ application, the total number of members who want Ms Wahab to be removed from the chair of the committee has risen to eight, only one short of a majority. The committee consists of 17 members.
Talking to Dawn, PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said he expected Faisal Saleh Hayat of PML-Q and Maulana Muhammad Qasim of JUI-F to support their stand against the chairperson. Mr Hayat is out of the country and is expected to come back next week.
Mr Abbasi said it was not a political clash, but the move was meant to seek a saner chairperson.
“We are not demanding anything against PPP, they can bring in Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Aftab Shahban Mirani or even Nafisa Shah as the chairperson of the committee,” Mr Abbasi said.
The move to remove Fauzia Wahab began on Dec 3 after she objected to certain remarks made by Kashmala Tariq against State Minister for Finance Hina Rabbani Khar on the third day of the committee meeting to discuss and approve the RGST.
However, arguments between the two women members of the committee led to interference from other members. Soon a move was afoot to remove Ms Wahab, who has not convened any meeting of the committee since then.
Ms Wahab told Dawn that members of opposition parties were vitiating the atmosphere of the committee meetings and deviating from the agenda. “How can I call the committee meeting under these circumstances,” she said.