The trouble over the appointment of the Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is one issue that just won’t quit. Distraught by the weeks of legislative inactivity brought about the opposition’s refusal to make committees, the government finally gave in to their demand of appointing Shahbaz Sharif as the Chairman of PAC. Yet, this issue isn’t over yet, as leaders from within PTI oppose the appointment of Sharif and pledge to contest it in court.

The rebel was Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad who on Friday announced to file a petition in the Supreme Court challenging Shahbaz’s appointment as Chairman PAC. The declaration drew confusion from the public, considering it was Imran Khan himself who finally approved Sharif’s appointment. Interestingly enough, other PTI government figures have made it clear that Rashid’s statement does not reflect the stance of the government. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haq on Saturday distanced the ruling party from the announcement by Railways Minister. Haq, while stating that Rashid was in his rights to challenge Sharif’s appointment, defended the government’s decision to nominate Sharif as the PAC head, saying the opposition leader had assured the government that he would not preside over the meetings of the committee when the audits of the projects undertaken during the term of the PML-N government would come up before it.

To be fair, Rashid’s objections towards Sharif’s appointment were not sudden or unwarranted; they came after concerns of conflict of interest were raised when Shahbaz Sharif directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the regulatory body which is investigating him for corruption, to bring in records of the cases it had investigated. Yet it cannot be denied that Rashid unilaterally voicing these objections in a conference and singlehandedly challenging the appointment in the court of law makes PTI look divided from within. Challenging the appointment in the Supreme Court is also the least helpful thing that anybody could do- it means that this issue will be dragged on for several more months and result in more inactivity in the parliament and the PAC.

This issue, of certain members within its rank breaking party line to make unilateral declarations, is a problem that PTI has had for quite some time, and it does the party’s reputation of back-tracking no favours. So far, Imran Khan has been on the right path- giving leeway to the opposition in order to make parliament functional- but the party must learn how to reign in its ministers.