ISLAMABAD: Hours after Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani ruled that Nehal Hashmi will continue to function as senator after withdrawing his resignation, the disciplinary committee of the ruling PML-N decided to summon Mr Hashmi on Friday to seek an explanation over his act of “hurling threats” at the judiciary and allegedly violating party discipline.
Sources told Dawn that the members of the committee headed by PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq met soon after the adjournment of the Senate session to discuss the situation after issuance of the detailed ruling by the Senate chairman over the issue.
The five-member committee, constituted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday as the PML-N president under the constitution of the party, is required to compile its report recommending appropriate action against the suspended party member by June 11.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Law Barrister Zafarullah Khan, who is also a member of the disciplinary committee, told Dawn that the committee had watched the whole video of Mr Hashmi’s May 28 controversial speech in which he had been shown hurling threats apparently at the judiciary and the members of the joint investigation team (JIT).
Mr Khan said the committee had decided to provide an opportunity to Mr Hashmi to respond to the show-cause notice the party had already issued to him.
Mr Khan’s conversation indicated a slight shift in the party’s strategy on the issue when he said that the first mandate of the committee was to hold an investigation into the speech of Mr Hashmi and then it could examine the issue of his violating party discipline by withdrawing his resignation for which he had been issued the directives by Mr Sharif himself.
He refused to make any comment when asked a direct question if the party leadership had an afterthought of saving Mr Hashmi and had decided not to take any action against him for withdrawing the resignation. He said the committee could take up the issue of his resignation at a later stage, but the main question before it was to see the motives behind Mr Hashmi’s speech.
Earlier in the day, the Senate chairman read out a three-page ruling on the matter during the Senate session, declaring that the notice issued for personal appearance of Senator Hashmi before him on June 7 for verification of the resignation submitted by him on May 31 “has become infructuous” and “the resign stands withdrawn”.
The ruling says that Mr Hashmi had himself stated that he had submitted the resignation “under stressful atmosphere” and non-voluntarily.
In his ruling, Mr Rabbani had also highlighted that Mr Hashmi had submitted resignation to the Senate secretariat “along with others”, implying that his resignation was not voluntary and under coercion.
“Upon receipt of the application of withdrawal of resign, I asked the said senator verbally also if he was withdrawing his resign to which he categorically stated ‘yes I am withdrawing’,” he stated.
The senator, the chairman said, had admitted to the “non-voluntariness” of the resign by submitting a written application.
Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2017