Home Latest News NA Speaker Says PTI Resignations Accepted Per Law

NA Speaker Says PTI Resignations Accepted Per Law

In video statement, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf says he will review PTI’s desire to withdraw resignations with Lower House’s legal department

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy National Assembly of Pakistan

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Monday reiterated that the resignations of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s lawmakers had been accepted strictly in accordance with the Constitution and Rules of Business, while stressing that the resolution of all pending challenges is possible only through dialogue.

In a statement issued after a meeting between former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser and former PTI chief whip Malik Amir Dogar, he said they had demanded that he reverse the acceptance of the resignations and allow them to return and assume the position of opposition leader. Recalling that he had only accepted the resignations after repeatedly requesting the PTI’s lawmakers to appear before him to no avail, he said the process had only been expedited after both Dogar and Qaiser had demanded the immediate acceptance of their resignations.

Noting that the PTI delegation had claimed that he had accepted their resignations “wrongly,” and they had subsequently gone to court, he said they were relying on a court ruling that had led to the Election Commission of Pakistan withdrawing a notification for their de-seating. He said he had assured them that their resignations were accepted as per law, but agreed to discuss their request for withdrawal of resignations with the National Assembly’s legal team, adding they would subsequently be informed of the results of the deliberations.

Stressing that the resolution of all challenges currently facing Pakistan was possible only through dialogue, he said as the custodian of the National Assembly, he was bound to take all decisions in accordance with the Constitution, laws and rules.

In his video statement, which was shared publicly by the National Assembly Secretariat, Ashraf urged all political parties to work toward national stability and promote unity and harmony in the country. “We must steer our country out of the current crisis by holding one another’s hands,” he maintained, adding he hoped to play a positive role for the country’s betterment.

PTI’s resignations

The PTI’s MNAs resigned from the National Assembly en masse in April 2022 after Imran Khan was ousted as prime minister through a vote of no-confidence. While the resignations were all accepted by then-deputy speaker Qasim Suri, incumbent speaker Ashraf had withdrawn this and directed the lawmakers to appear before him in person to confirm their resignations. Despite multiple summons, no PTI lawmaker had appeared before him, maintaining their resignations had already been accepted.

In July, Ashraf accepted the resignations of 11 MNAs, with the PTI then seeking court intervention for the en masse acceptance of their resignations. The process then appeared to stall until Jan. 17, when Ashraf accepted the resignations of 34 lawmakers. This was then followed on Jan. 20 with 35 more resignations being accepted. At this, several MNAs sought to withdraw their resignations but on Jan. 22 the final batch of 43 resignations was also accepted.

The 43 MNAs then approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) for relief, claiming they had already withdrawn their resignations. The court, on Feb. 8 suspended the ECP’s orders de-notifying them, though was silent on the speaker’s ruling.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment