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PAC member resigns in protest

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 7: A senior member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly has resigned in protest against the PAC secretariat for its lack of cooperation.

Yasmin Rehman of the PPP, who is one of the active members of the PAC, handed her resignation to chairman (PAC) Nadeem Afzal Gondal.

Talking to Dawn, Ms Rehman said it was very unfortunate that when “we are willing to work, there is no secretariat support.”

Confirming her refusal to head the sub-committee, which was tasked to take care of audit reports for the year 2002-2004, Ms Rehman said, if the secretariat couldn’t schedule a meeting, what else one could expect from them.

“On a number of occasions, the staff of the secretariat has been found wanting in arranging meetings, thus, I have decided to relieve myself from this responsibility,” said Ms Rehman.

Currently, the PAC secretariat is being headed by additional secretary, Qamar Sohail Lodhi, who was first deputed and then absorbed by the National Assembly.

Mr Lodhi is former sessions judge from Peshawar. According to National Assembly insiders, Mr Lodhi, has only experience in the legal field, therefore, couldn’t manage this new assignment.

Some in the National Assembly have also questioned Mr Lodhi’s appointment in the secretariat against a Supreme Court decision, which barred members of judiciary taking over administrative positions.Likewise, Ms Romana Kakar, who is working as deputy secretary in the PAC, is actually BS-18 officer, serving against BS-19 position in the committee. She is also on deputation in the National Assembly.

“It’s very unfortunate that the National Assembly has failed to train its own regular employees to take up such challenging assignments, and have to take people from outside,” said a NA official.

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