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This file photo shows Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif addressing a press conference.
This file photo shows Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif addressing a press conference.

ISLAMABAD: Winner of May 11 general elections, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), may play a masterstroke by offering chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI). The party is also considering the name of Mahmood Khan Achakzai for the position of Speaker National Assembly, a PML-N official said, adding that the party wanted someone from an under-represented province to take the speaker’s position.

On who should head the PAC, PML-N sources told that Sharif was consulting his close aides on whether to offer the position to PTI chief Imran Khan.

The PAC is regarded one of the most important committees of the National Assembly that plays a crucial role in accountability of the sitting and previous governments.

Under the Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed in 2006 between Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and PML-N, it had been decided that the PAC chairmanship would remain with the opposition to strive for transparency in governmental affairs.

The two signatories had also agreed to offer political parties chairmanships of the standing committees according to their numerical strength in the National Assembly.

Previously, the governments used to retain all the standing and other parliamentary committees.

After the 2008 general elections, PPP and PML-N formed a coalition government and did not constitute the PAC for some six months. By then Chaudhry Pervez Elahi was the Leader of Opposition in the lower house of Parliament.

The PAC was constituted after PML-N moved to the opposition benches, leaving the PPP-led government, on the issues of reinstatement of deposed judges and unilateral nomination of Zardari as a presidential candidate.

Subsequently in September 2008, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who succeeded Pervez Elahi as opposition leader, was given the important portfolio of PAC chairman.

“It was a commendable move by the PPP that they had adhered to the principles of the Charter of Democracy. I think we will also follow the same example vis-à-vis the standing committees,” PML-N spokesman Tariq Azeem told

Sources in PML-N said Sharif was consulting his close aides whether it would be a wise move to offer the chairmanship of the PAC to Khan. One suggestion was that the PML-N should keep that important office.

The proponents of involving Khan in the PAC argued that the move would push both PTI and PPP in a tight spot. The PTI would not able to backtrack from its commitment of eradicating corruption, while PPP could not escape from corruption allegations during its five-year rule.

A close aide of Sharif contended if the PML-N would spearhead the accountability process from the platform of the PAC, it would be largely taken as PPP’s political victimisation. He added that the former ruling party must not be given any chance to escape on that count.

A source in the PAC told that before the dissolution of the National Assembly, the committee was hearing audit objections of the year 2006-07. Under Rule 205 of the National Assembly, a new PAC would resume its business where the previous committee had left.

The upcoming PAC would be able to dispose of the backlog within a few months and then come to scrutinise the audit objections or corruption allegations raised during the PPP-led government.

Moreover, the PAC does not have the mandate to look into the accounts of provincial governments. And therefore, PML-N would have no concerns that after getting PAC chairmanship, the PTI might turn its guns towards the Punjab government.

Shahzad Raza is a freelance contributor. His twitter handle is @shahz79

Comments (51) Closed

Mairaj Alam May 14, 2013 12:53pm
Imran will not take the JOB. He will nominate a capable PTI candidate if offered the position.
Asif Kahsmiri May 15, 2013 02:27pm
He is the best man to do so.
Israr Khan Ismail Zai May 14, 2013 01:55pm
I think it's not about PML N "respect" that we care about, but Pakistan's future that should be more important.
Wasif May 14, 2013 01:45pm
Welcome to Parliamentary politics IK - another chapter in your education. Hope you gain as much strength, courage and wits that are required for you to get the premiership in the next election.
Zahrah May 14, 2013 12:56pm
Dear Imran, Please, stay a 'light year away' from this generosity of PML (N) .. it's a trap!
In the Know... May 14, 2013 12:56pm
Despite my near-hate feelings for PML-N, I honestly think this is a great gesture by them. IK has come on to the scene with the promise of cleaning up the mess of Corruption. If he were to conduct brutal accountability of just the National Government, for the last 5 years, it will be a big, big plus for him. On the other hand, if he is not allowed to do his job, he can always resign from the post. But i feel it is a great opportunity for IK, if offered to him.
Khan May 15, 2013 02:50pm
Politicians don't do anything for the people without credit.
Ali May 14, 2013 01:03pm
Khan should definetly take this position, this will give more transparency. Khan is a good man and so is Nawaz Shareef
AR May 14, 2013 02:37pm
Imran should accept the offer for the party and not for himself otherwise he will be in bad light. He should put forward the name of some suitable member of assembly belonging to his party for the slot.
Ammar Sami May 15, 2013 03:57am
I think I.K must welcome the offer otherwise he would face the problem to nulify the corruption.because he is the part of current Gov.
anony May 15, 2013 10:52am
credit? is this about credit? i thought it's about benefit for the people.
NASAH (USA) May 16, 2013 01:27am
Give PAC to Imran Khan and ask him to abolish corruption in 9 days?
Agha Ata (USA) May 14, 2013 11:45pm
Yes. He should, but on his own terms.
Ali May 14, 2013 11:05pm
Nice one, AR!
Khan May 14, 2013 10:53pm
Don't do it Imran, if there is record corruption again five years later, you will bear the blame. If you succeed in exposing corruption and holding people accountable, PML N will take credit.
Riaz Ahmad May 16, 2013 07:48am
Exposing corruption and holding the corrupt accountable are two different exercises. With out the later the former loses its significance.
javaid bashir May 14, 2013 10:04pm
I think imran khan should not accept this bait at all. The PAC Chairman ship means nothing. He can be more effective without it. He should become the leader of the opposition or part of the opposition. He can serve national inteest in his capacity as a free leader to set the agenda pf reforms and change. The strong man must refrain from such temptations . These are just distractions.
Sarwat Hasan May 15, 2013 10:16pm
Somehow I.K. should have access to provincial government spending so that he can see what's happening there country wide.
zehri May 16, 2013 07:26am
No to small a position; he should be offered for foreign ministry --- no dought PAC is important should be given to very honest man among will other members too should be honest and we all know who they are
Jamshed Khan May 16, 2013 07:02am
He should. This would be a good opportunity for him to show what he is really made of, to make a real difference and to learn how things run in the corridors of power. Sitting in the opposition for the sake of it would be no good and pointless. Joining PML(N) won't be such a bad idea if he really wants to do something for the country.
Nadeem May 15, 2013 03:10pm
Nawaz Sharif is a good man, that a news to the people of Neya Pakistan.
Agha Ata (USA) May 14, 2013 01:01pm
Maslehut (Doing something irrelevant or wrong with a good motive) has always been a great hindrance in progress and a great boost for wrong actions, in Pakistan. Why can
Aisha May 14, 2013 09:10am
I should say I am a pakistani supporter who backs PTI. It is heartening to see that Nawaz sharif is taking positive steps and that's really the need of the day. Now that election is over let's focus on rebuilding Pakistan. Forget your egos and everything. Select the right person for the right job irrespective of your differences. Giving free hand to IK in Khyber pakhtoon province is another step that we really appreciate. InshaAllah if we keep this approach there is no reason that we will see the Naya Pakistan that everyone wants, and it proves Nawaz sharif wants it too. Alhamdolillah, it's nice to see such news in the press for a change. Lifts our morale and our hearts. Please everyone who got selected deliver now for the sake of our country.
Maarib A. Shah (@maaribou) May 14, 2013 09:15am
IK should get the position for chairman if PTI is set to completely wipeout corruption done by the PPP led e-x-ex-government plus to keep a check on the current one. I guess whether or not IK does that will truly show what he actually cares for: Making someone else's life difficult, or a prosperous pakistan.
Ankahi Baatein May 14, 2013 09:22am
This would be a big chance for Imran Khan to prove true to his claims! And Pakistan needs someone as bold as him to take a strong initiative to bring down and control corruption and bring the corrupt politicians to task!
Abdul Salam May 14, 2013 09:29am
If IK is made anti corruption committee head, the respect of PMLN will increase overall.
Ali May 14, 2013 09:52am
Nawaz is playing moves. Lets see how khan sahab reacts. Decisions like these highlights the political skills of leader. Forming government in KPK, lucrative positions in the federation and many more. it will be interesting to see stance of PTI on these. i think khan sahab should take this position.
Ahmed May 14, 2013 01:00pm
This is Imran Khan's opportunity to prove that he is more than big words when it comes to fighting corruption. If he is content like his followers at just hurling negative remarks towards political opponents while making pie-in-the-sky claims, then he will turn it down.
Wasif M Khan May 14, 2013 10:03am
If this is indeed true it is a remarkable move, sagacious beyond NS's potential and good for the country. If IK doesn;t accept all we learn is that he;s just another of the 'my way or the highway' crowd. I would urge NS to definitely offer this to IK and for IK to wisely accept rather than being swept up in the distorted emotions of his young burger voters.
Chaudhary Sheraz Qamer May 14, 2013 10:25am
excellent move by Mian IK has no way out...PML N will dominate PTI's claim of eradicating corruption in the system...Great Mian Sab
hamid Shafiq May 14, 2013 10:42am
now its time to prove by imran khan for a good leader and manager. speaches in big audience is not enough and success time to prove by acts.
muzlee May 14, 2013 10:53am
i did not expect show bold decision from Main Sb, any way good move go ahead Mian Sb.
Parvez May 14, 2013 10:58am
If he does it will add to Nawaz's credibility..............
ady May 14, 2013 11:05am
This is a move to put all blame on Imran Khan in the end and secure future assurances of power...this power hungry party can go to any extent. Can't see any good-will in this move! Pure political drama! Hope all their such moves will fire back on them and country will see clean politics in future!
Imtiaz May 14, 2013 11:09am
I do not know if the same individual can hold 2 positions, besides PAC chairman, Imran Khan should also be offered Chairmanship of Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Affairs. His position is clear on many issues and would likely guide the government in right direction and pursue them.
lala May 14, 2013 11:13am
let's prove yourself IK........ no matter who gives you chance, if you believe in goodness, we are sure you do!!
Syed May 14, 2013 11:21am
Only in case he is grated full powers without any PMLn or PPP representation in PAC. Moreover, Nawaz should first investigate the more than 100% turnover voter turnout in some Punjab constituencies to take a clean start.
Zawanrima May 15, 2013 12:29pm
can you name anyone other than IK strong enough to head this committee, chase the cultprits, run it independently and still report to Nawaz?
Zawanrima May 15, 2013 12:30pm
I agree with you and yes, this term is more of a learning curve for Imran and his young party for the next elections to rule the country.
Zawanrima May 15, 2013 12:27pm
IK should be very careful as it could be a political death trap.
amaullah rabbani May 14, 2013 11:49am
Nawaz Shareef is not that smart as he thinks he is!!!
G.A. May 14, 2013 12:10pm
For a moment I thought PML was being conciliatory towards Imran Khan. But it looks like the snakes are playing politics as usual.
Khan May 14, 2013 12:12pm
If IK becomes Head of PAC, means PMLN corrupt ministers would not be able to benefit in next 5 years?
salman May 14, 2013 12:13pm
IK should only accept if resolution is passed to include all provincial governments. lets see how Nawaz will react. IF PMLN thinks that playing this political game will make them look good, they are mistaken as many of their own will come under fire.
khanm May 14, 2013 12:24pm
My advice to Mr imran Khan think before you leap.... The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy.
SA May 14, 2013 03:09pm
IK should head this committee for 3 years and another committee like foreign affairs for 2 years after that.
M Aslam May 14, 2013 03:25pm
If Nawaz give any chance to Khan sahib to fullfill his promises of eradication of corruption, he should refuse it only due to reason that it improve Nawaz's creibility- Well done Khan sahib- Well done follower of New Pakistan. You dont have to do anything for Pakistan unless you become PM. All Pakistan except KPK know it very well before and make a right decision
pathanoo May 14, 2013 04:01pm
Imran Khan as the PAC Chairman? Now the thought is exciting for more than one reason. Will Imran have the conviction of his principals to chase down the corrupts all the way irrespective of the political cost to him and will Nawaz Sharif allow him free reign to do so? EXCITING, SCINTILLATING THOUGHT THOUGH!!
arif May 15, 2013 07:04am
This is such a good gesture by PML(N), Imran Khan is the right person for this job, who will definitely look into the National interests and keep an eye on any corruption/mismanagement.
Zubair Rehman May 15, 2013 09:51am
Dear Imran show Sportsman sprit & gain confidance of people.
Paki May 15, 2013 08:53am
yea i believe that if he been given the position that would be for interest of country