PTI to quit assemblies, claims Fawad Ch

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PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry has announced that his party would resign en masse from the National Assembly today (Monday), a day after former prime minister Imran Khan lost his government via a successful no-confidence move.

The decision to resign, he said, was tied up with the acceptance of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s nomination papers for prime minister’s elections, to which the PTI had raised objections. In a later development, the NA Secretariat rejected the objections and accepted Shehbaz’s nomination.

Talking to media in Islamabad with a host of other PTI leaders and officials, Chaudhry said a meeting of the PTI’s central core executive committee was held in Bani Gala with Imran Khan where “the whole situation was analysed”.

He said the CEC recommended to Khan that the PTI should resign from the assemblies starting with the National Assembly. “If our objections on Shehbaz Sharif’s [nomination] papers are not addressed then we will resign tomorrow,” he said.

Elaborating on the PTI’s decision to nominate its Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the prime minister’s position after a successful vote of no-confidence against Khan, Chaudhry said that contesting the election offered the party a way to challenge Shehbaz’s nomination papers.

He said it was a “great injustice” that Shehbaz would be contesting the election for the prime minister on the same day he is to be indicted in a money laundering case.

Referring to the situation around the successful no-trust vote, Chaudhry said that there were no “two opinions” in the PTI’s CEC meeting that it was anything other than a “very big conspiracy”.

“It was a foreign regime change operation that happened here,” he said. “We think this is a slap on [the face of] people of Pakistan. We reject it. The whole nation expects leadership from Imran Khan and expects from PTI that they’ll come out on streets [against] this foreign conspiracy.”

He appealed to the public to come out and protest after Isha prayers in their respective district headquarters. The PTI later also released a schedule of protests in several cities across the country.

Chaudhry said that if the PTI “disappointed people” now and Khan did not lead a massive movement then it would amount to a “betrayal with the country’s politics and Constitution”. He said a fuller plan would be provided later and the country would move towards new elections in the next few weeks and months.

“Whoever has created this [political] crisis has engaged in enmity with the state. We think the crisis got more complicated due to the Supreme Court’s decision,” he said, referring to the apex court’s Thursday order to restore the National Assembly and the no-confidence motion.

Referring to yesterday night’s events when the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court opened their gates late night, Chaudhry said that such activity was “immensely disliked” by the public, which was now expressing their opinion on social media about the events.

“Until we don’t throw this government out and until it stays, no institution of Pakistan will have any sanctity,” he added.

Questioned on the “trolling” of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and his family, allegedly at the hands PTI supporters, Chaudhry distanced himself from such elements, saying that the party had “no control over social media”.

“We can only influence our known people and can’t control everyone’s mind so the people who have a problem that [trolling] is being done against them on social media, kindly don’t blame us.”

Awami Muslim League chief, Sheikh Rashid, a key ally of the PTI, who spoke before Chaudhry, was more direct in the resignations announcement. “It has been decided that we can’t be involved with these thieves and dacoits in the assembly. Everyone decided with a unanimous consensus that we are going to resign en masse from the NA,” he said. “All members will resign.”

 

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