Ruling coalition to decide on PTI MNAs’ resignations ‘in early December’

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf chairing a session of the lower house in Islamabad, on November 18, 2022. — Twitter/NAofPakistan
  • Sources say several PTI MNAs asked to reject resignation.
  • Imran Khan to face accountability next month, sources say.
  • Khan might be put behind bars in the process, sources add.

ISLAMABAD: The final decision regarding resignations tendered by 123 PTI members of the National Assembly will be taken in early December as the ruling alliance has not taken any decision about the rejection or acceptance of their request for quitting the house.

Highly-placed sources in the National Assembly Secretariat told The News on Saturday some PTI circles had recently given the impression that the ruling coalition had decided to not accept the resignations — which were tendered on April 10 just before the ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan as the prime minister.

“No such decision has been taken since NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf had already accepted the resignation of eleven of the legislators,” the sources said. The formula applied to the 11 PTI members would apply to all other resignations as well.

It’s the question of timing, the sources said, adding that about three dozen NA members belonging to the PTI have approached the speaker’s office to express their intention for returning to the house.

They urged the speaker to explicitly reject all the resignations instead of making piecemeal decisions.

The sources reminded that the NA speaker had to decide within 14 weeks from now, otherwise no by-election would be possible in the remaining period of the assembly in line with the restrictions imposed by the Constitution.

The sources pointed out that the MNAs who approached the NA Secretariat were not hopeful for PTI tickets in the next general elections or did not intend on contesting the polls on the party’s tickets.

Khan’s arrest

Meanwhile, political sources said if PTI MNAs opted to return to the house, they would have to elect their new parliamentary leader since Khan was stripped of NA membership after the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) ruling in the Toshakhana case.

It is unlikely that the PTI would return to the National Assembly although the apex court’s judges and the army chief have advised it to return to the legislature.

The PTI leadership thinks that any such return wouldn’t suit it politically. The ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has no intention to give Khan face-saving from calling off his long march.

Talks would be possible only after the PTI fully came out of agitational mode. The proposal for early elections wouldn’t be on the table even if negotiations took place after calling off the long march, the sources said.

They added that the PTI leadership would have to face strict accountability from the next month and Khan would have to face probes being conducted by the agencies on account of corruption.

He might be put behind bars in the process, the sources said.

Originally published in

The News

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