LAHORE - The election of Ch Zaheeruddin Ahmad, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly, as Chairman, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, has given rise to the question whether or not he would be able to observe neutrality in the performance of his duties, especially when it comes to scrutiny of financial irregularities pertaining to the tenure of PML-Q govt. Many MPAs have also questioned this election in the context of Charter of Democracy, according to which, leaders of opposition in the national and provincial assemblies have been barred from holding this office. They are, instead, required to recommend some one else from within the opposition to occupy this slot. Talking to The Nation after election of Ch Zaheer as chairman PAC, a PML-Q member, seeking anonymity, said provision 15 of CoD prescribes recommendatory role for leaders of the opposition for appointment of chairmen of the PACs both at the national and provincial levels. The chairmen of PACs in the national and provincial assemblies will be appointed by the leaders of opposition in the concerned assemblies, he read out a quote from the CoD, which, he said, had the implied meanings that leaders of opposition would not recommend themselves for that office. This particular provision in the CoD was first violated in National Assembly, when Leader of the Opposition, Ch Nisar Ali Khan recommended himself for chairmanship of the PAC. Now the same has happened in Punjab Assembly where Ch Zaheeruddin has decided to keep this slot with himself instead of recommending someone else from his party. While it is praiseworthy that following the footsteps of PPP govt, the PML-N-led Punjab govt has also decided to allocate this office to the Opposition, but at the same time, a wrong precedence already set in the NA has been upheld and religiously followed in the Punjab Assembly. Some parliamentarians, with whom this scribe talked to, were against the very idea of taking chairman PAC from the opposition side. They pleaded it was absurd to oblige the opposition for that matter given the fact that PACs usually carry a bag log of four to five years pertaining to audit paras of govt departments, and hence appointing some one from the opposition as head of this body tantamount to providing an opportunity to the opposition to cover up the corruption that took place when it was in power. Meanwhile, Mohsin Leghari of PML-Q, who had declared himself to be a candidate for the said office was forced to abdicate in favour of Ch Zaheeruddin by party leadership at the last moment. Leghari reportedly withdrew his candidature on persuasion of Moonis Elahi, who succeeded in convincing him to change his decision for the sake of party discipline. Consequently, Ch Zaheer was elected unopposed to that office. A close friend of Mohsin Leghari told The Nation Leghari was extremely disturbed over party leaderships decision of appointing Ch Zaheer as PAC chairman, who is already holding two offices, those of leader of the opposition and partys Punjab General Secretary. A day before the election, Leghari had claimed to have secured the support of nine PAC members, but on Wednesday, just before the start of election process, even his proposer and seconder ditched him at the last moment reportedly after intervention of Moonis Elahi into the matter.