ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Monday decided to conditionally offer the slot of Public Accounts Committee chairman to opposition but would not accept Shahbaz Sharif as a candidate for the post.

The meeting held under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan reviewed the standoff between the treasury and opposition benches on the formation of National Assembly standing committees as the government was not ready to accept Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif as Chairman PAC while opposition parties are adamant to follow the decision made in the Charter of Democracy.

Meanwhile, in another major development after having briefing from Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on modalities of South Punjab Province, the prime minister directed to put in place the South Punjab Secretariat by middle of next year so that the people of these areas could be provided with immediate relief.

In the meeting on parliamentary affairs it was decided that Speaker National Assembly Asad Qasir would approach the opposition parties with the new proposal to give a new name for the slot of PAC except Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif as he himself was facing serious corruption charges and was in National Accountability Bureau custody for investigation.

PTI had initially raised objection on doling out the slot of PAC chairman to Shahbaz Sharif on the plea that how a person could be given the slot when the committee would go to examine the audit objections on the ministries and divisions during the tenure of his elder brother Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. Later, he himself was arrested on corruption charges and right now facing investigation so giving him the slot of Chairman PAC would be no less than a mockery of the parliamentary system, a senior PTI Parliamentarian commented.

Speaker Asad Qasir would also discuss the constitution of other standing committees of the lower house of the Parliament, which could not be formed due to the government-opposition standoff on the chairmanship of PAC.

The meeting was held under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by NA Speaker Asad Qaise, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Leader of House in Senate Shibli Faraz and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan.

 It was decided during the meeting that the government would approach opposition parties to resolve the issue through dialogue so that the Parliament could be made fully functional.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government would accept someone with neutral and impeccable character from opposition parties as chairman PAC but could not accept Shahbaz for the position.

The prime minister also wanted early constitution of rest of the standing committees as well as ethics committee of the Parliament to keep check on conduct of the Parliamentarians.

The meeting on South Punjab province was attended by Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jowan Bakht and other relevant officials.

Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar gave detailed briefing to the participants on the administrative issues relating to the formation of the new province and it was decided that initially the South Punjab Secretariat would be established by middle of next year so that the people could be provided with the immediate relief as the people from south Punjab districts have to travel a long way to Lahore to get their issues resolved.