KARACHI  -   What is being seen as “show of power in the Sindh Assembly,” the PPPP on Wednesday elected all seven members of the Public Account Committee (PAC) from among its MPAs including the two NAB-tinted - Faryal Talpur and Sharjeel Inam - amid boycott by the opposition parties in protest against the ruling party denial to give PAC chairmanship to the opposition.

Whereas, MPAs of the PPPP and two opposition parties including Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were elected unopposed as members of 22 committees of the Sindh Assembly.

The joint opposition including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) did not participate in the process due to their protest against the government’s denial to give Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairmanship to the opposition.

The PPPP-led government not only refused PAC chairmanship to the opposition but also “apparently” used it majority to elect all seven members of the committee from the treasury.

The newly-elected PAC members are: Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Faryal Talpur, Sharjeel Inam, Muhammad Qasim Soomro, Abdul Karim Soomro, Syed Farukh Ahmed Shah and Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran.

Two members of the committee including PPPP Women’s Wing chief Faryal Talpur and former provincial minister Sharjeel Inam Memon are facing NAB cases over alleged financial irregularities and the latter one is also under the NAB custody.

No opposition member is part of the PAC that is mandated to audit paras of the auditor general of Pakistan indicating financial irregularities from the provincial government departments that are run from the past 11 years by PPPP-led Sindh governments.

Similarly, member of the standing committee on finance were also elected unopposed with Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Khan Durrani as its chairman followed by provincial minister for finance, lawmakers - Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran, Dr Lal Chand Ukrani, Dr Sohrab Khan Sarki, Farhat Seemen, Muhammad Sajid Jokhio, MMA lawmaker Syed Abdul Rasheed and Ghulam Qadir Chandio as its members.

The committee as per rules is mandated to prepare budget and supplementary estimates and demands for excess relating to the Assembly and its Secretariat and all financial matters relating to the expenditure of the assembly and its secretariat within authorised appropriation.

The committee is also responsible to approve annual and supplementary budget estimates of the assembly and its secretariat which shall respectively be included in the annual budget statement and the supplementary budget statement by government.

The 20 standing committees whose 11 members were elected unopposed included agriculture, cooperative, energy, finance, food; Forest, Wildlife and Environment; Higher, Technical Education and Research, School Education (up to Matriculation) and Special Education; home, information and archives, irrigation, labour and human resources, law and parliamentary affairs and human rights; Local Government, Rural Development, Public Health Engineering, Housing Town Planning; Planning, Development and Special Initiatives; Primary Health (BHU, HRC and Vertical Programmes) and Secondary Health (Rest of Health); Revenue, Land Utilization and Relief and Rehabilitation; School Education (up to Matriculation); Services, General Administration & Coordination Department (Services, GA, I&C & IPC Wings); transport and mass transit and works and services.

It is to be noted that the opposition leader in a letter addressed to the chief minister had demanded 14 standing committees including that of energy; excise, taxation, narcotics; finance; forest wildlife and environment; home, irrigation, livestock and fisheries; Local Government, Rural Development, Public Health Engineering, Housing Town Planning; planning and development; Revenue, Land Utilization and Relief and Rehabilitation; school education; Services, General Administration & Coordination Department (Services, GA, I&C & IPC Wings) and transport and mass transit.

On the other hand, Murtaza Wahab, spokesperson to the Sindh government, has announced that they have agreed over eight standing committees of opposition choice. However, in the polls the PPPP has left only three standing committees of the opposition choice include the excise and taxation, planning and development and livestock and fisheries.

The newly-elected members of the standing committees would elect chairmen of their respective committee in the first meeting with a majority of vote. The much-debated Public Accounts Committee is likely to be headed by PPPP MPA Ghulam Qadir Chandio.