New dimension to resignations

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THE issue of en masse resignations by Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) belong to PTI assumed a new dimension after one of the member approached Islamabad High Court with the plea that he did not offer resignation and the court revoked ECP notification declaring his seat vacant and allowed him to attend National Assembly proceedings.

Abdul Shakoor Shad, PTI MNA from NA-246 Karachi, challenged his resignation in the IHC, saying that he had expressed solidarity with the 123 MNAs who had left their seats, but he never resigned.

As has been pointed out by the court, the plea taken by Shad has made the entire exercise of en masse resignations as suspicious and some more members might follow the footsteps of MNA from Karachi.

Two days after PTI Chairman Imran Khan was ousted as the prime minister — through a no-confidence motion moved by the then opposition — all PTI MNAs resigned en masse on April 11.

The then Acting Speaker Qasim Suri accepted all the resignations on April 15 but the new Speaker, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, decided to interview members individually to verify resignations as these were typed and not hand-written as required by rules.

The members did not appear before the Speaker due to a decision of the party in this regard but tacit approval to Shad’s petition by the party is reflective of a subtle change in the overall thinking of the party on the issue.

The Speaker selectively accepted resignation of eleven MNAs of PTI after statements by some party leaders about toppling of the coalition Government.

Interestingly, the party is not pressing the resignation issue, its members are receiving salary and perks as MNAs and the party is fielding candidates to contest all the by-elections including those which were slated for September 25 and postponed due to flood situation.

There is increasing demand from within and outside the party that all MNAs should return to the Assembly and play their role there and the leadership might have to review the decision.

 

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