ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government finally decided not to dole out Public Accounts Committee chairmanship to Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif and rather appoint someone from treasury benches, who would be acceptable to opposition parties as well, on the slot.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front informed The Nation that there was sharp divide within the PTI leadership on giving the PAC chairmanship to Leader of the Opposition and finally the group against it prevailed and now someone from within the ruling coalition would be given the priced slot of the PAC chairman.

Sources in the government revealed that former speaker National Assembly Syed Fakhar Imam had emerged as the strongest contender for the slot of Chairman PAC and final announcement in this connection would be made in next few days.

These sources further revealed that keeping in view the impeccable character and uprightness, Syed Fakhar Imam commanded respect among Parliamentarians sitting on both sides of aisle in the Parliament, so he is being considered strong contender for the position.

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry was strong opponent of giving PAC chairmanship to Shehbaz Sharif. Chaudhry said that how a person could do justice to his job when the audit objections on the ministries and divisions would be pertaining to the government headed by his elder brother Nawaz Sharif who was de-seated and later convicted on corruption charges by a NAB court.

Fawad Chaudhry had garnered huge support among the senior party leaders and outnumbered the group led by Speaker National Assembly Asad Qasir who was in favour of upholding the Parliamentary tradition to make Leader of Opposition head of Public Accounts Committee.

Sources in the government confirmed that finally unanimity was evolved on the point that a person whose elder brother’s government tenure would be under scrutiny of the Parliamentary watchdog, so justice to the job could not be expected from him.

Sources said that Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to the point of view of those opposing giving the PAC chairmanship to Shehbaz Sharif and it was decided that the slot should be given to some senior Parliamentarian having impeccable character and experience.

Sources said that in the deliberations held so far on the matter, Syed Fakhar Imam was considered as the most suitable candidate for the slot and most likely he would be nominated as Chairman PAC in next few days.

On the other hand, opposition parties were united on the point that PAC chairmanship should be given to the Leader of Opposition as agreed in the charter of democracy signed by Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz a decade ago, as appointing someone from the treasury benches would make the position controversial and the body could be used for victimising political opponents in the name of scrutiny.

Giving his reaction to the name of Syed Fakhar Imam floated by the PTI government for the slot of the PAC chairman, former speaker and PML-N central leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that the government should uphold the parliamentary norms and dole out the position of PAC chairman to Leader of Opposition in National Assembly as was the tradition set for past two consecutive terms.

He further said that they would not accept Syed Fakhar Imam for the position of PAC Chairman and would lodge strong protest on it.

Earlier, PML-N leadership had announced not to become part of PAC and even stay out of other Parliamentary bodies in case the government would deviate from the set parliamentary norm of making Leader of Opposition as Chairman PAC.