The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers resigned from all the standing committees of the Punjab Assembly on Thursday in protest against the non-issuance of production orders of their detained MPAs and not nominating Hamza Shehbaz as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). As per the details, a parliamentary delegation of PML-N comprising senior lawmakers including Samiullah Khan, Malik Nadeem Kamran, Ch Iqbal Gujjar and Zeeshan Rafique submitted the resignation of 100 members of standing committees in the assembly secretariat. The resignations signed by 100 MPAs were submitted to DG Parliamentary Affairs Anayat Ullah Lak in the assembly secretariat while Speaker Ch Pervaiz Elahi has also been intimated in this regard. Talking to Daily Times, MPA Samiullah Khan said that we have taken an extreme step as government didn’t fulfill its commitment to nominate the opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz as Chairman PAC despite the fact that we had an agreed formula that opposition leader will be made the Chairman PAC. “It is the darkest day in our parliamentary history today when the opposition was forced to resign from the standing committees due to the undemocratic approach of the government,” said Samiullah while adding that the legislation done by the standing committee will not have any political or moral value from now in the absence of the opposition. He was of the view that he couldn’t find any such precedent in the parliamentary history of Punjab where the opposition took this grave step due to the policies of the government. He also urged the Speaker Ch Pervaiz Elahi to bring the Punjab Assembly out from this deadlock as his party PML-Q also played an active role in the Azadi March of JUI-F.The PML-N said that the government didn’t name Hamza Shehbaz as the Chairman PAC in last 14 months despite giving them repeated commitments. The party also said that the Speaker is not issuing the production orders of opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz and Kh Salman Rafique who are in the custody of NAB on the behest of the government. “The Speaker stopped issuing production orders after all the MPAs of the government were free and everyone knows that former senior minister Aleem Khan used to attend the meetings of standing committees on production orders for weeks,” the PML-N MPAs said while criticizing the biased approach of the government. MPA Samiullah Khan told this scribe that he also contacted PPP’s parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza in this regard who said that he will consult his party leadership first to give resignations. It is worth mentioning here that each standing committee of the Punjab Assembly comprises of 11 MPAs and 6 of them belong to the government while 5 MPAs represent the opposition. At least 4 MPAs are required to fulfill the quorum of any meeting of the standing committee. There are 40 standing committees in Punjab Assembly and only 21 have been constituted yet while all other couldn’t be formed due to the non-cooperation of the opposition with the government over the issue of Chairman PAC. Among 21, five committees were being headed bt the PML-N before the resignation. According to the rule of proportional representation, the chairmanship of 21 committees will go to the government while 19 committees would be headed by the opposition. It was earlier decided between the government and the opposition that Hamza Shehbaz would be made as Chairman PAC but now the government is showing reluctance as Hamza is facing multiple cases including assets beyond means, money laundering, Ramzan Sugar Mill and Saaf Pani Company by the National Accountability Bureau. The Chairman PAC is the most powerful office as the chairman does audit of the projects initiated by the government and therefore then leader of the opposition Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed of PTI held this office for five years during the last government of PML-N in Punjab. The law minister Raja Basharat had also confirmed in the past that opposition leader will be made as Chairman PAC in Punjab but still Hamza is yet to get the office.It is worth mentioning here that the standing committees are the most important platforms in the parliamentary form of government where the MPAs hold brainstorming sessions and discussions on legislation and other legislative process. The rules of procedures of Punjab Assembly doesn’t give any time frame to Speaker for accepting these resignation and therefore Speaker isn’t bound to accept the resignations in any given time frame. “The Speaker will have to intervene timely otherwise a political or constitutional crisis may emerge in Punjab Assembly as the legislation in the absence of opposition may also be challenged in the court,” said MPA Samiullah Khan. The session of Punjab Assembly has also been summoned from Monday next week.