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Tuesday January 31, 2023

Resignations issue: PTI MNAs approach ECP to foil NA speaker's bid

PTI's senior leadership says over 40 MNAs are withdrawing their resignations on Imran Khan's directive; lawmakers stage protest outside ECP, NA speaker's residence

By Web Desk
January 23, 2023
PTI leader Aamir Dogar (centre) speaking to media after meeting with ECP. — HumNews screengrab/Live
PTI leader Aamir Dogar (centre) speaking to media after meeting with ECP. — HumNews screengrab/Live

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers on Monday submitted a request to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), stating that "45 MNAs are withdrawing their resignations" and the National Assembly Secretariat and speaker have been informed in this regard.

The plea was submitted during the PTI lawmakers' meeting with the electoral body's members following their protest outside the ECP building after the authorities restricted them from entering NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf's house.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar announced that "44 MNAs have decided to withdraw their resignations as per party Chairman Imran Khan's directive", in what appears to be another u-turn on the party's behalf.

Following the protest, PTI leader Malik Aamir Dogar and Riaz Fitiyana were summoned inside the ECP building for a meeting.

The PTI lawmakers requested the ECP in their plea that they shouldn't be "de-notified" if the NA speaker accepts their resignations.

The meeting of the MNAs and ECP members was held after the former's protest outside the electoral body's building.

PTI leader Aamir Dogar said that they were at the ECP to inform the electoral body about the decision to retract resignations.

This was after an earlier sit-in outside the NA speaker's house after they were denied entry into Ashraf's residence when they demanded to meet the custodian of the house or secretary regarding their resignations. Earlier, they were also restricted from entering the Parliament House.

Dogar demanded that the MNAs wanted to meet the NA speaker or the secretary regarding the resignations.

"About 45 MPs came to the office of the NA speaker," he added. He said that the senate's meeting was postponed today, adding that the lawmakers will go to the speaker's residence to meet his staff.

PTI MNA Lal Chand Malhi said that Khan has decided that the resignations should be retracted.

More than 40 PTI MNAs to withdraw resignations

The announcement of resignations withdrawal came days after the approval of the resignations of 35 PTI MNAs by NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf, which took the total number of resignations accepted in the last eight months to 81.

"Since the speaker is not accepting the resignations of all the members of the assembly, that's why on party chairman's directives, 44 MNAs have emailed their decision to withdraw their resignations," Umar announced on his Twitter handle.

Sharing some bits from their next plan of action, he said that the next step will be the nomination of the leader of the opposition in the national legislative.

Meanwhile, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that 45 lawmakers have decided to take back their resignations so that the party can take the posts of the leader of the opposition and parliamentary party leader.

Chaudhry said that the PTI decided to take back the resignations so they could get rid of the "fake" opposition leader and to prevent the "lotay (turncoats)" from voting in favour of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the vote of confidence.

Interestingly, the number of lawmakers mentioned by Umar and Chaudhry differed from each other. The former mentioned names of 44 MNAs while the latter said that 45 lawmakers have retracted their resignations.