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Babar Awan resigns from Senate seat

Updated June 29, 2017

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Former law minister Babar Awan officially resigned from Senate on Thursday, confirming that he had sent his resignation letter to Chairman Raza Rabbani by post.

"I am not Nehal Hashmi that I will back-track after resigning," Awan said, speaking to DawnNews.

A copy of Senator Babar Awan's resignation.
A copy of Senator Babar Awan's resignation.

He was referring to former PML-N leader Senator Hashmi, who had resigned from the Senate after a video surfaced showing him lashing out at "those investigating" Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family in relation to the Panamagate case.

Hashmi's remarks were apparently made in reference to a Supreme Court-sanctioned investigation into the Sharif family's business dealings abroad.

However, days after submitting his resignation letter, Hashmi withdrew his resignation after a meeting with Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani. He was, nonetheless, expelled from the PML-N.

"Whenever the chairman calls me to confirm my resignation, I will present myself," Awan said on Thursday.

Last week, the former PPP leader had announced his decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

"I left my ministry in pursuit of justice. Even leaving the Senate to join PTI was a challenge," Awan had said at the time.

"If my agenda held firm then I would have remained in the Senate till 2018," he had added.

PPP defections

The PPP has been losing members to PTI in recent weeks, as former federal ministers Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich and Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gul bid adieu to their former parties.

Groupings within the party and local political issues are said to be the reasons behind the desertions.

Warraich, who served as minister of state for communication in the PPP government during 2008-13, was dejected when he was removed from the post of the president of the party’s central Punjab chapter for “failing to deliver”.

Since then, there were reports that he was quitting the PPP to join the PTI.

His grievances allegedly deepened when Qamar Zaman Kaira from the rival party group was nominated as the central Punjab chapter chief.

Firdous Ashiq Awan also had complaints against Kaira when the PPP was in power as she had accused him of interfering in her ministry (of information and broadcasting).

She, however, alleged that the party leadership has sacrificed the “political interests of Punjab to save the political interests of Sindh”, creating panic among PPP leaders in Punjab.

The PPP has also failed to play the role of “real opposition” in accordance with the wishes of the masses “making the party irrelevant” in the province, she said earlier.

Gondal is said to be annoyed with the PPP for not lending him support in the Rs40 billion EOBI corruption case against his brother Zafar Gondal.

Gul was not happy at the PPP’s reconciliation with the PML-Q as the latter’s leaders Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi are arch-rivals of the Nawabzadas in Gujrat district politics.