ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has issued summons to the governor State Bank, secretary Foreign Affairs, DG FIA, deputy chairman NAB and chairman Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for not turning up at Thursday’s meeting to brief the committee on the Panama Papers issue.
On the request of the PAC member Junaid Anwar, Chairman Syed Khursheed Shah directed to issue summons to the heads of five institutions.“The absence of heads of these institutions from the meeting is contempt of the PAC,” Khursheed Shah said.
The heads of FIA, NAB, SECP and State Bank and secretary foreign affairs were to brief the committee on the Panama Papers issue under Rule 224 of the PAC following a request made to the PAC Chairman by Dr Arif Alvi of PTI.
The committee members said the governor State Bank could not come because he was busy with the prime minister in Karachi. On that, the PAC chairman said the top State Bank official was sent an invitation to brief the committee on September 1 while the prime minister’s schedule was issued on the third of this month.
“He has ignored the PAC and this attitude is not tolerable unless a genuine reason is given,” the PAC chairman said,should be served on him.
Khursheed Shah was informed that the SECP chairman was also engaged with the prime minister in Karachi. On that the PAC chairman said as per notification of the Prime Minister Secretariat, the PAC should be preferred to the cabinet meetings.
Junaid Anwar Chaudhry MNA suggested the PAC chairman that just issuance of notices would not serve the purpose rather the absent officials should be issued summons. Sheikh Rohail Asghar of PML-N, however, opposed issuance of summons to top officials of four institutions and secretary foreign affairs. “The matter should not be taken seriously if the officials are busy with the Prime Minister,” he said.