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October 3, 2007
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163 APDM legislators resign

October 3, 2007

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ISLAMABAD: Setting aside all apprehensions and rumours, the parliamentarians belonging to the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) on Tuesday resigned from the National Assembly and three provincial assemblies as a protest against participation of Gen Pervez Musharraf in the presidential election in uniform.

In all, the resignations of 85 members of National Assembly, 62 of those hailing from the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), 20 from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, one each from the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Pakhtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP). Two parliamentarians including MMA President Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Hafiz Hussain Ahmed had already resigned from the National Assembly.

A total of 46 members of the Punjab Assembly, 25 of the Balochistan Assembly and seven members of the Sindh Assembly also submitted their resignations at the respective assemblies.

In Islamabad, the APDM legislators led by Raja Zafarul Haq, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Imran Khan, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and other leaders reached the Parliament House in a procession from the Parliament Lodges. They were accompanied by activists of the APDM, who were carrying flags of Movement’s parties and raising slogans against General Musharraf.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan was the first to hand over the resignation to National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain. Makhdoom Javed Hashmi presented resignations of the PML-N legislators, five of those elected on the PML-Q ticket, but then changed their loyalties.

Liaquat Baloch read out reasons to quit the National Assembly and then Maulana Fazlur Rehman handed over resignations of the MMA parliamentarians to the speaker. Baloch quoted participation of Gen Musharraf in the presidential election in uniform, crackdown against seminaries including Lal Masjid and the Jamia Hafsa, changes in syllabi of educational institutions, price hike, corruption,

unemployment, military operations in Balochistan and tribal areas, situation in Karachi, misuse of Election Commission of Pakistan and torture on lawyers and journalists as reasons to resign from the National Assembly.

Later, talking to newsmen MMA Secretary-General Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the NWFP Assembly would be dissolved before the presidential election. He said the APDM members of NWFP Assembly have requisitioned session of provincial legislature today (Wednesday) to debate no-confidence motion and to give vote of confidence to the chief minister.

The MNAs of the MMA, who submitted their resignations, included Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Parliamentary Leader Liaquat Baloch, Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Sahibzada Abul Khair Zubair, Hakeem Qari Gul Rehman, Sabir Hussain Awan, Rehmat Ullah Khalil, Maulana Gohar Shah, Farid Paracha, Maulana Muhammd Khan Shirani, Khanzada Muhammad Siddiq, Maulana Muhammed Gohar Shah, Maulana Qasim, Maulana Atta ur Rehman, Muhammad Osman Advocate, Mufti Abrar Sultan, Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz, Maulana Asadullah Bhutto, Maulana Ahmed Ghafoor, Maulana Asadullah, Qari Yousaf, Maulana Hakeem, Hanif Abbasi, Haji Bakhtiar Maani, Ziyad Akram Durrani, Abdul Sadiqui, Fazal Subhan, Abdul Akbar Chitrali, Maulvi Noor, Mian Muhammed Aslam, Qazi Hameed Ullah, Hafiz Salman Butt, Maulana Attaur Rehman, Muhammed Laiq Khan, Muhammad Hussain Mehnti, Maulvi Noor, Maulvi Ghulam Sadiq, Maulana Naik Zaman, Maulana Miraj Uddin, Haji Gul Muhammed Dummar, Maulana Abdul Maalik, Maulana Abdul Maalik Wazir, Maulana Hamidul Haq Haqqani, Shabbir Ahmed Khan, Maulana Amanullah Khan, Maulana Khalil Ahmed, Qari Fayyazur Rehman Alvi, Qari Abdul Bais Siddiqui, Shujaaul Mulk, Pervaiz Masih, Ayesha Munawar, Dr Farida Ahmed, Samia Raheel Qazi, Farhana Khalid, Shahid Akhtar Ali, Jamila Ahmed, Razia Aziz, Ambreen Naeem, Anayat Begum, Baliqis Saif, Nayar Sultana, Imrana Khawar and Asia Nasir.

The PML-N members included Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Abid Sher Ali, Sardar Iyaz Sadiq, Ishrat Ashraf, Krishen Bhel, Maimoona Hashmi, Rana Mehmoodul Hassan, Asad Khan, Khawaja Asif, Sahibzada Fazal ur Rehman, Pervaiz Malik, Sardar Yaqoob Nasir, Raja Nadir Pervaiz, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Tehmina Daultana, Ali Hasan Gillani, Akhtar Kanjo, Bilal Virk and Shahzadi Umer Zadi Tiwana.

Asfand Yar Wali Khan of the ANP, Mahmood Khan Achakzai of the PkMAP and PTI Chairman Imran Khan also tendered their resignations. Tahir Hasan Khan adds from Karachi: Seven out of eight Sindh Assembly members of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) submitted their resignations to Speaker Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah on Tuesday while one MMA MPA from Hyderabad, Abdul Rehman Rajput, announced his support for the government.

MMA Parliamentary leader Maulana Umer Sadiq, deputy leader Nasrullah Shaji and Hameedullah Khan submitted the resignations of the seven MPAs, Hafiz Naim, Younus Barai, Maulana Ahsanullah Hazarvi and Kulsoom Nizamani.

Talking to newsmen, Shaji said the May 12 incident in which 48 people were killed, the lawlessness, the price-hike and the killing of the Ulema were the reasons for their resignation from the provincial assembly. Maulana Umer Sadiq said that the MMA MPAs would not attend Thursdayís assembly session.

Speaker Muzaffar Hussain Shah received the resignations in the presence of APDM leaders and workers. The speaker told Maulana Umer Sadiq that to complete the legal proceedings authority letters of all the MPAs were required, which should be submitted to the assembly secretary.

Under the rules, the speaker would send these resignations to the provincial Election Commission to notify and declare the seats vacant. The assembly secretary would also inform the provincial election commissioner about this through a notification on the directives of the speaker.

Earlier, the police stopped the workers and leaders of the MMA and APDM at the assembly gate and only allowed the MPAs to enter. Later, all the supporters were allowed to enter the building. The police blocked all the roads leading to the assembly building and deployed a large force to avert any untoward incident.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rehman Rajput, an MMA MPA from Hyderabad, who belonged to the JUP, defied the orders of the APDM and announced to support the government.

Addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister House, Rajput, flanked by Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, said he did not agree with the MMAís decision to resign from the assembly. He appreciated the role of President Musharraf and said he will vote for him in the election to be held on Oct 6.

Faizan Bangash adds from Lahore: The resignations of 40 APDM MPAs —32 of the PML-N, eight of the MMA — and six ruling PML MPAs in the Punjab Assembly were submitted to the assembly’s secretariat on Tuesday. The resignations were handed over to the assembly secretary in the presence of PML-N Parliamentary leader Rana Sanaullah and MMA’s Asgher Gujjar.

Speaking on the occasion, Rana Sana said that the APDM did not want to become part of the presidential polls. He said that the APDM members had resigned to end the military intervention in politics and restore democracy in the country.

“Police are harassing the MPAs who have joined the PML-N and all tactics were used against them to force them not to join the PML-N,” he added.

Earlier, the APDM workers led by Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa, Rana Tanveer, Ahsanullah Waqas and Rana Sana reached the Punjab Assembly in the form of a procession from the Lahore Press Club.

Separately, PML-N leaders Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Rana Tanveer, Rana Mohammed Arshed and a large number of PML-N and JI activists held a demonstration outside the Punjab Assembly building and chanted anti-Musharraf slogans.

Muhammad Ejaz Khan adds from Quetta: Differences surfaced in the Balochistan APDM, as two out of 25 MPAs refused to submit their resignations.

The two MPAs, Agha Faisal Daud and Amina Khanum, asked the Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly Jamal Shah Kakar not to accept their resignations because they were not fresh and taken about two years ago.

Earlier, MMA parliamentary leader in the Balochistan Assembly Kachkol Ali Baloch of the National Party (NP) and the Puskhtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal submitted 25 resignations to the speaker – 17 of the MMA, five of the NP and three of the PkMAP.

However, Agha Faisal Daud and Amina Khanum, both belonging to the MMA, expressed their ignorance about the resignations. ìWe have not submitted our resignations and we have also requested the speaker not to accept our resignations in our absence,î said Amina Khanum, while speaking at a joint press conference along with Faisal Daud.

She rejected the accusation that the two MPAs had received Rs 50 million each for not tendering their resignations. ìThere is no truth in the reports. I have not taken even a single penny from the government.î

Later, Maulana Abdul Wasey strongly condemned the government and the agencies for coercing the two MMA MPAs. He alleged that the provincial government had arranged the press conference for Amina Khanum. Wasey appealed to the chief justice to take notice of the situation.

APP adds: Balochistan Assembly Speaker Jamal Shah Kakar issued a notification on Tuesday about the acceptance of resignation of 25 members of the House. Ex-senior minister and MMA leader Maulana Abdul Wasey has shown the notification to newsmen at a press conference.

The acceptance notification was issued in accordance with the Assembly Rules and the copies of the notification have been sent to the governor, the chief minister and the Election Commission.

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