Post the resignation of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader and Provincial Minister Aleem Khan, the government is pressurising the opposition to get Shahbaz Sharif to resign from his position of the chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The statements made by the ruling party draw comparison between other mainstream parties and themselves, however, no other party can be coerced into taking any step or follow in someone’s footsteps unless they themselves believe that it is the correct political move. The PAC chairmanship has remained a very crucial conflict between the government and the opposition.

It has impacted the formation of committees in the parliament. The opening up of this debate means further delaying the actual processes which are required to take this tenure forward. While there is no legal clause confirming the appointment of an opposition leader as PAC chairman, this has certainly been the parliamentary practice for successive democratic terms. The government gave in to these demands and should not work with the framework it has because this would once again create an air of misunderstanding and confusion which will compromise the capacity of those in power. The fact that the government is making the resignation of Aleem Khan the premise for asking Shahbaz Sharif to resign makes it seem as if the arrest was a gesture to push other parties to follow the lead of the ruling party. The government needs to carefully assess the demand it puts forward because it can impact the working of the system.

The issue of PAC chairmanship was resolved and the system now has other issues to deal with. Taking such a stance will only alienate the opposition more and there will be no working ground left to collaborate. In order to avoid such a situation, it is important that the government finds its balancing act.