ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser yesterday accepted resignation of Mian Shehbaz Sharif as Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman.

Another PML-N’s stalwart Rana Tanvir Ali is likely to become chairman of parliamentary accountability body with the consent of opposition parties on November 28 [Thursday], parliamentary sources told The Nation.

Leader of the Opposition Mian Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday had submitted his resignation citing political engagements as the main reason.

Shehbaz Sharif is currently in London with elder brother former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his medical treatment. The resignation became effective from Wednesday (yesterday) and National Assembly Secretariat issued a notification in this regard.

Shehbaz Sharif, sources maintained, had also forwarded a letter to the National Assembly Secretariat nominating Rana Tanvir Ali for the slot. The major opposition party [PML-N], sources added, had already decided to nominate Rana Tanvir Ali [a senior PAC member] as next contender for the slot of chairman of the accountability body.

Sources said the senior PAC member will contact with other main opposition parties to support PML-N’s nominated lawmakers for chairmanship of the committee. As per the parliamentary tradition, leader of opposition in the National Assembly is given charge of chairman Public Accounts Committee.

Opposition leader Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, in PML-N’s era, had also charge of chairman Public Accounts Committee. Likewise, opposition leader from PPP-P Syed Khursheed Shah had also chaired the parliamentary accountability body.

The tradition was violated once when Ch Nisar Ali Khan had tendered resignation as PAC chairman and Nadeem Afzal Chan was given the slot.

In PTI government era, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, as per the Charter of Democracy (CoD), was nominated as PAC chairman by opposition parties. Prime Minister Imran Khan had raised objection on it but after some months he agreed to give important slot to Shehbaz Sharif.

As Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had announced in the National Assembly that PM Imran Khan would not stand in the way of Shahbaz, if he wanted to head the PAC. The opposition, in return, had agreed with the government to form standing committee of the National Assembly. Sharif finally became the chairman of the accountability committee in [December 2018] after a long tussle between the government and opposition.

However, Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif, couple of months before, had decided to step down as PAC chairman owing to health issues. PML-N’s media cell had also issued a press release that Shehbaz Sharif was never keen to become PAC chairman and only accepted the position on insistence of joint opposition and parliamentary advisory group. The decision to give slot to Rana Tanvir was later postponed due to other political activities.