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Deadlock persists over PTI MNAs' resignations

30 October, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The deadlock over the resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers from the National Assembly persists as they refused to meet Speaker Ayaz Sadiq individually in his office after arriving in parliament, on Wednesday.

Out of the 33 PTI lawmakers 25 turned up, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq told reporters, adding that they refused to meet him individually in his office which is required under the rules of procedure and conduct of business of the National Assembly.

"I am left with one option, which is to write to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about the whole issue," Ayaz declared when was asked about the future course of action. PTI, on the other hand, put the blame on the speaker and ruling PML-N government, saying that its MNAs had come to parliament in compliance with the constitutional requirements.

PTI Chairman Imran did not turn up for the verification of his resignation and would not do so in future too, Shireen Mazari, party's Central Information Secretary announced. When PTI lawmakers arrived in parliament, the assembly staff asked them to go inside the speaker's chamber individually for verification of their resignations.

However, senior party leader Shah Mahmood Querashi said, "We are not students of a school that we should go one by one." He said that the speaker should come into the lounge to meet the PTI MNAs for verification of their resignations. But Speaker Ayaz Sadiq insisted that each lawmaker show up individually in his chambers. Ultimately, the PTI lawmakers left parliament.

Shah told the media that his party's point of action was clear and that its lawmakers have resigned from the National Assembly and the party has repeatedly announced this. Shah clarified that PTI lawmakers came to the speaker's chamber on his call and waited for more than two hours but he did not show up. The PTI leader said that they have informed the deputy speaker to convey the word to Ayaz Sadiq that the PTI lawmakers stood by their resignations. "We obeyed our constitutional responsibility by coming for the verification," he added.

Qureshi lamented the attitude of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and said, "They have learnt nothing from the past and continue to practice the politics of horse trading."

Later, while talking to media Ayaz Sadiq that despite repeated efforts the PTI MNAs decided against appearing individually in his office for verification of their resignations. Sadiq had set October 29 as the last date for the lawmakers' appearances so that he could forward their resignations to the Election Commission of Pakistan for further procedure.

Sources in the Parliament House, however view the deadlock from a different prism and have termed it a part of efforts to bring back the party into parliament, at a time when the opposition parties jirga is still making efforts to sort out issues between PTI and government. The meeting of some PTI leaders with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq in Mansoora few days back is part of this plan and the deadlock is part of it, sources believed.

An inside source has said that majority of PTI MNAs are urging party Chairman Imran Khan that their resignation from the assembly should only be followed with the dissolution of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, an inside source says.

"The number of MNAs opposing resignation from the National Assembly is increasing and now most of the MNAs are against the move Imran Khan has made," a PTI MNA from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told on condition of anonymity. Three MNAs, including Gulzar Khan and Nasir Khattak, refused to follow the leader's call for quitting the National Assembly seats.

"We have asked the party leader to also order the dissolution KP Assembly if he is not ready to change his mind about quitting the NA seats," the MNA said. Imran Khan, he said, was unlikely to heed the MNAs' condition linking their resignations to the dissolution of the KP Assembly.

JI team advises PM not to accept PTI resignations

A delegation of the Jamaat-e-Islami called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday and advised the government not to accept resignations of PTI MNAs.

The delegation, headed by JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch, discussed the issue of resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNAs that are pending for approval from the Speaker National Assembly.

Baloch maintained that the country's current political crisis would worsen if PTI's resignations were accepted.

He again reiterated the demand from his party that PTI's resignations should not be approved in the current circumstances.

The meeting with the Prime Minister Sharif came on a day when PTI MNAs are due to present before the speaker National Assembly later today to verify their resignation individually.

Many PTI MNAs not willing to resign: Zaib

Estranged PTI MNA Mussarat Zaib claimed that many of the PTI MNAs are not willing to resign but nobody could dare talk in front of Imran Khan as he acts like a 'dictator' Wednesday.

"Imran Khan does not listen to anyone. He acts like a dictator," she said while talking to a private TV channel.

She refused to resign since she got elected from KPK province, where elections weren't rigged.

"I will only resign when KPK MPAs will resign," she asserted.

Her statement came when around 25 PTI MNAs were gathered at the Parliament House to appear before the Speaker National Assembly for verification of their resignations.

End.

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