Marriage of inconvenience
Smooth working relationship between PTI and its coalition partners has not been achieved so far. BNM Menagal law makers have gone to the opposition benches. Awami Muslim League President and Railway Minister is unhappy over the refusal of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar’s to grant him membership of Public accounts Committee. He has also contended that Speaker National Assembly cannot issue productions for a member of lower house when he is under remand for investigation. He is of the view that Speaker National Assembly has illegally appointed leader of the opposition Shabaz Shabaz Sharif Chairman Public Accounts Committee.
The Railway Minister has prevailed on PTI leadership and made it to the Public accounts Committee about which he minced no words and categorically said that the Speaker of the Lower House has no role in his appointment as member of this important parliamentary committee. Keeping in view the dignity of the office of Speaker National Assembly and razor thin majority of PTI, Asad Qaisr should have ignored the critique of Railway Minster. But he decided to pay in the same coin. While talking to electronic media in his home town Sawabi he sarcastically said that he does not know what problem Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has with him. He will take decisions according to rules and will not accept dictation.
A cursory look at the statements of the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry reveal that the government may go far parliamentary and legal means for the removal of Chairman Public accounts Committee. The incumbent of National Assembly Speaker’s office is regarded to be non-partisan and one should not express reservations if he issues production orders for a law maker to attend the session of the ;lower house or preside over a meeting of parliamentary committee. But ironically, the National Assembly Speaker in the previous PML-N government Ayaz Safdiq who openly supported former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after his disqualification in Panama Papers case. It is also not justified to compare the incumbent speaker with the former articulate but discrete former speakers of the National Assembly like Syed Fakhar Imam, Hamid Nasir Chatta, Gauhar Ayub Khan and Chaudhry Amir Hussain.