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PTI, PML-N to discuss Punjab PAC chairmanship on 16th

LAHORE: The ruling coalition-led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – the biggest opposition party in the province – will begin a fresh round of talks to reach a consensus over the chairmanship of the Punjab Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), ARY News reported.

Sources said the government and opposition members will meet on Jan 16 (Wednesday) to hold discussions on whether to let leader of the opposition in the provincial legislature Hamza Shehbaz head the PAC. The nomination of opposition members for the house’s standing committees will also come under discussion.

Separately, the provincial government intends to bring an amendment to the assembly’s rules to empower Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to issue production orders for any detained member.

Speaking to ARY News, Provincial Minister for Law Muhammad Raja Basharat said following the approval of the above amendment, the speaker will be able to issue production orders for a member in custody to enable him to attend the assembly’s sessions.

The government and the opposition through backdoor contacts had earlier agreed to sort out the PAC issues through mutual coordination. The opposition has also sought a formula for division of the standing committees. The opposition has asked to clarify which departments would come under its chairmanship.

There are 36 standing committees in the Punjab Assembly and according to the number of seats with both the parties, the government would get 19 committees and the opposition 17 committees.

Backdoor contacts have been expedited to resolve issues amicably as formal talks between the government and the opposition are likely to begin next week.

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