Estranged PML-N leader and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan took oath as member of the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday after the Assembly Secretariat found no stay order against his formally becoming an MPA.
He was administered the oath of office by Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari. Khan entered the Assembly through government chambers.
Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, he said he would undertake a visit to Lahore again soon during which he would hold detailed talks with media persons. When he was asked which political party he would join, he answered: "I am not going [to any party] yet."
Khan had been elected from Punjab Assembly's constituency PP-10 (Rawalpindi-V) in the 2018 general elections as an independent candidate with a margin of over 34,000 votes, but did not take the oath alleging rigging that led to his defeat in the National Assembly's constituency NA-59 (Rawalpindi-III).
The former interior minister had confirmed his decision to take the oath in a statement on Sunday. The politician from Chakri had said he had made the decision after consulting his constituents.
He had also clarified at the time that taking the oath would not affect his stance or belief (about rigging in the 2018 general election that led to his defeat in the NA constituency).
The decision came in the wake of reports that the federal government is set to promulgate an ordinance within days, de-seating those members of elected houses who have not taken oath of their respective offices within a stipulated time.
Delay in taking oath
Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti had barred Khan from taking oath on Monday on the plea that certain petitions were pending adjudication with the Lahore High Court to bar him from taking the oath after a delay of around three years.
The assembly staff approached Khan on Tuesday, who had expressed his intentions of moving a court of law, and told him that he could take the oath as no stay order had been issued against it by any court.
Once considered second to Nawaz Sharif in the party, Khan had refused to contest the 2018 polls on the PML-N ticket after developing differences with the party chief. The differences ranged from the kind of relations to be maintained with the military establishment to the hegemony of the 'House of Sharif' within the PML-N, as he had publicly refused to accept Maryam Nawaz as the next party chief.
The PML-N distanced itself from Khan's decision to take oath, saying he had parted ways with the party and contested the polls as an independent candidate. The party's Punjab Information Secretary Azma Bukhari said the disgruntled leader's decision was personal, and the party had no hand in the government's efforts to block his bid to take oath.