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Tuesday April 16, 2024

PTI split over resignations

PTI sources say that Sheikh Rashid and Fawad Chaudhry are active in pushing the party out of the political scene

By Mumtaz Alvi & News Desk
April 11, 2022
PTI Chairman Imran Khan chairing a meeting of partys CEC meeting at his Bani Gala residence. Photo Shahbaz Gill
PTI Chairman Imran Khan chairing a meeting of party's CEC meeting at his Bani Gala residence. Photo Shahbaz Gill

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentary party Sunday faced a split over the issue of resignations from the National Assembly.

While Fawad Chaudhry and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said the party parliamentarians would resign en masse after the election of prime minister on Monday, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said no final decision had been reached yet while Ali Muhammad Khan said almost 95 per cent of the party MNAs were against quitting the assemblies.

The PTI sources said that Sheikh Rashid and Fawad Chaudhry were active in pushing the PTI out of the political scene. Both are pressurising Imran Khan to resign from the assemblies. They believe if the PTI MNAs tender resignations en masse, the new government under Shehbaz Sharif would get an opportunity to play openly on important appointments and legislation. In such a scenario, the party would suffer an irreparable loss, they believe.

Read more: By-polls if PTI resigns en bloc: PMLN, PPP

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, briefing the media about the PTI core committee meeting chaired by party chairman Imran Khan at Bani Gala on Sunday, said that the PTI MNAs would start resigning from the National Assembly from Monday. “If our objections on Shehbaz Sharif's papers are not accepted, then we will resign tomorrow,” Fawad said.

Imran Khan presided over the PTI core committee meeting to take stock of the latest political situation and discuss the options to push for early elections, and block the formation of the new government.

Imran Khan reportedly is poised for leading a big movement to demand general election in the country in the next few weeks or months. Party sources said the former premier is likely to attend the House proceedings on Monday (today). It will be his first visit after his ouster as the premier through the no-confidence resolution.

Fawad also tweeted that the PTI had decided to resign from the assemblies and the process would start with the election of the prime minister on Monday. However, on the other hand, there were clear indications that the party faced a sharp difference of opinion on quitting the assemblies. “Yes, we have some voices trying to convince us that en masse resignations will give a walkover to the rivals, who will enjoy a free hand inside the legislature and outside,” confirmed one senior PTI leader.

Fawad said the PTI had nominated Shah Mehmood Qureshi as the candidate for the prime ministerial slot. He said there were two objectives of contesting the election i.e. one was to challenge the papers of Shehbaz Sharif, as there was Rs16 billion corruption case against him. Also, the day he would be contesting for the prime ministerial slot, the same day he would be indicted in that corruption case.

“What could be more insulting than the imposition of an imported and selected government on Pakistan with Shehbaz Sharif as its head,” he added.

Fawad also said resignations of most of the parliamentary party members had been handed over to Imran Khan. He said the entire nation expected guidance from Imran Khan at this time and "if we disappointed the nation, and Imran Khan did not lead a big movement, then it would be betrayal of Pakistan's politics and the Constitution. Other than that, we have no choice but to reject this illegitimate government and let the people of the country join the PTI in this great movement being launched after Isha today."

Fawad said: “As long as we do not remove this government from the corridors of power, the unholy government will remain in Pakistan; God willing, we will start this movement from tonight.”

Awami Muslim League MNA and ex-minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad declared in categorical terms that he would not sit in the National Assembly with thieves and robbers and he was going to resign from the National Assembly. He also claimed that Shehbaz Sharif was going to be indicted on Monday.

"The petty dacoits and big dacoits who were to be indicted could not participate in the assembly. All of us have unanimously decided that we should resign from the National Assembly. All the members will resign, there will be a parliamentary meeting at 9pm; they will decide, I will address the people at Lal Haveli at 9:30pm,” he announced. However, the parliamentary party meeting has reportedly been postponed.

PTI MNA Farrukh Habib said that the entire core committee paid tributes to Imran Khan for the manner in which he fought against external conspiracies. He added that Imran Khan was not removed on any charge of corruption or money laundering as was the case with his opponents. He said that Imran Khan was going to start a public movement from Peshawar in a few days, as his whole struggle was for the people of Pakistan.

Hammad Azhar, another PTI legislator, said that the manner in which the most fearless and popular leader of Pakistan was removed through external conspiracy was a loss to the entire nation and there was no leader of Imran Khan's stature in the entire Islamic world.

He continued, “If we go and sit with the puppet government that is being tried, we will not be faithful to our oath. It is time to take to the streets, and tonight we will hold peaceful protests across country.”

However, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi told a private television channel that no final decision had been made in relation to en masse resignations from the assembly. He said the issue of resignations was discussed in the PTI core committee meeting, but no final decision was taken and Imran Khan had decided to convene a meeting of the party's parliamentary committee on Monday at 12 noon.

Also, former minister of state for parliamentary affairs and PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan Sunday said that 95 per cent of the members of the Parliament from PTI were against resigning from the assemblies. "While a resignation could be a political tool for any politician, but resigning from the assembly at this moment means giving a free hand to the opposition," he said.