- MNAs to appear before speaker on Wednesday or Thursday: sources.
- Sources say Imran Khan will finalise date today.
- They add speaker didn’t give time to verify resignations.
LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers have decided to appear before National Assembly Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf for the verification of their resignations, Geo News reported Sunday citing sources.
As per the sources, the members of the National Assembly (MNAs) will either appear before the speaker on Wednesday or Thursday. The date will be finalised by party Chairman Imran Khan during the consultative meeting today, said the sources.
The decision was made by PTI after the members did not get a response to the letter they wrote to the NA speaker, said the sources. They added that party Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote a letter to Ashraf a few days ago.
The sources further stated that the speaker of the National Assembly has not yet given time to confirm the resignations of the lawmakers.
Speaker should accept our resignations, Fawad demands
Addressing a press conference, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that his party has decided to resign from both the national and provincial assemblies. He said that the party members are going to the National Assembly and will once again announce their resignations.
“The speaker, after hearing this, cancelled the assembly session. Accept our 123 resignations and conduct elections,” he demanded. He also asked to hold by-elections on National Assembly seats and fresh polls for the provincial assemblies at the earliest.
“We want the elections to be conducted on the same date because we don’t have enough budget. Elections should be conducted on a single day which will cost Rs40-45 billion,” he added.
The election commission should start an investigation into this matter and hold elections, he said, adding that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) shouldn’t use the ECP as its partner.
PTI seeks time
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, on December 15, announced that the party will be seeking time from the National Assembly speaker for the verification of their MPs’ resignations.
“A letter is being written to the speaker and he is being asked to provide a time when members of the assembly can come for the verification of resignations once again,” tweeted Fawad. He added that they are seeking time for the verification so new polls can be held on the vacated seats.
The former information minister said that in the Supreme Court it was remarked that PTI MNAs were not coming to the assembly but taking their salaries.
“Judges should verify the reports that come on the media. The reality is that this is another lie of the government. The salaries of the resigned members are suspended and no member is getting any salary,” said Fawad.
Fawad’s tweet comes after Supreme Court’s Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, while hearing PTI plea on NAB amendments, observed that although the PTI lawmakers were not going to the National Assembly, they were receiving their salaries.
He had also observed that the Islamabad High Court had asked the PTI legislators to appear before the NA speaker.
Ashraf, last week, said that PTI lawmakers convey messages to him to not accept their resignations.
The speaker said that such situations require a lot of thought process, adding that he will not accept the resignations until he is satisfied.
“There is a process to accept resignations with some rules and regulations,” he said. “If a lawmaker gives a statement regarding his resignation and I get to know that he has done it under pressure then I will not accept it.”
The PTI lawmakers had tendered their resignations en masse after the Imran Khan government was ousted through a no-confidence motion back in April.
The PTI has claimed resignations were accepted by former deputy speaker Qasim Suri in absence of the speaker after Asad Qaiser’s resignation.
However, once Raja Pervez Ashraf was elected as the speaker, he decided to verify the resignations by interviewing lawmakers individually.
Later, the resignations of PTI members were de-sealed and Raja accepted only 11 of them.