ISLAMABAD: A controversy on Thursday broke out between the National Assembly Secretariat and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz as the former issued letters to two PML-N lawmakers from Mansehra and Abbottabad, asking them to appear before Speaker Asad Qaiser for verification of their ‘resignations’ while the two lawmakers denied sending any resignation to the speaker.
A similar letter was issued to PML-N MPA Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha, also from Abbottabad, by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Secretariat in Peshawar.
The PML-N, however, termed the resignations “fake” and asked the speakers of the two assemblies to hold inquiry over the issue and tell them as to who had submitted these resignations to them.
The NA secretariat released the separate letters written to PML-N MNAs Muhammad Sajjad from Mansehra and Murtaza Javed Abbasi from Abbottabad “requesting them to approach the National Assembly Secretariat to finalise a date for appearing before the speaker for confirmation of their resignations”.
Sajjad, Abbasi told to appear before NA speaker to verify resignations that the two call fake
Both the lawmakers have been informed that their resignations from the seats of National Assembly on their official letterheads had been received on Dec 14. They have further been informed that “their signatures have been found genuine as per record of the National Assembly Secretariat”.
Both the members have been informed to finalise a date to appear before the speaker “in person within seven days”. Interestingly, the two MNAs have been informed that if they fail to respond, it would be construed that they have nothing to say and their resignations would be accepted as per rules.
Murtaza Javed Abbasi, who had served as deputy speaker in the previous assembly, is the chief whip of the PML-N in the National Assembly and Muhammad Sajjad is the brother of retired Captain Muhammad Safdar, the spouse of PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz.
A similar letter was issued by the KP Assembly Secretariat to PML-N MPA from Abbottabad Mr Nalotha.
A spokesman for the KP Assembly Secretariat said the resignation of Mr Nalotha had been received by post on Thursday and that a notice had been issued to him the same day for appearance before the assembly speaker for authentication of the resignation.
Mr Nalotha, when contacted, denied sending his resignation to the KP speaker, saying that he had handed over his resignation to his party’s provincial president Amir Muqam as per the decision taken by Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to force the government to step down at the earliest.
He said in case he received any letter from the secretariat he would appear before the speaker to explain the actual position.
When contacted, PML-N’s senior vice-president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the resignations of the party lawmakers appeared to be “fake”.
He said that he had asked the PML-N lawmakers to formally demand a probe into the matter and also submit privilege motions as their privileges had been breached with this act of the speaker.
Similarly, Murtaza Javed Abbasi said that how could he send the resignation to the speaker when he himself was responsible for collection of resignations from MNAs in line with the party leadership’s decision.
PML-N’s Parliamentary Leader in the National Assembly Khawaja Asif in a statement said the party leadership had set Dec 31 as the deadline for members to submit their resignations to party heads.
All PML-N members, he said, had submitted their resignations to the party leadership already over which a final decision would be taken by the PDM leadership.
He said the resignations would be submitted to the speaker on the date to be decided by the leadership of the party and no member could submit their resignation directly to the speaker.
Peshawar Bureau also contributed to the report
Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2020