Qasim Suri accused of violating law over PTI resignations

Published April 14, 2022
PPP leader Sherry Rehman (L) and PML-N's Ayaz Sadiq address a joint press talk in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
PPP leader Sherry Rehman (L) and PML-N's Ayaz Sadiq address a joint press talk in Islamabad on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peo­ples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Wednesday accu­sed National Assembly’s former deputy speaker Qasim Suri of pressuring the NA Secretariat into sending resignations of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNAs to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) without meeting constitutional obligations.

The two parties — now in government — claimed that Mr Suri had committed violation of the Constitution by approving the resignations without listening to them in person.

Meanwhile, sources told Dawn that some of the PTI lawmakers had approached NA Secretariat with a request not to accept their resignations.

Sherry Rehman, the PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Senate, said at a press conference, along with PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq, that Qasim Suri had once again violated the law. “Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri claims that he has verified the signatures; however, that is not the case,” she said.

The PPP senator said that according to Rule 43 of National Assembly Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, every member must individually appear before the speaker for signature verification and confirming the resignation.

“This procedure has not been followed as the PTI MNAs presented resignations jointly. Numerous PTI MNAs have come forth saying that the current procedure followed by the PTI was not only illegal but also unjust as they do not wish to resign, yet are being forced to do so,” she added.

Ms Rehman claimed some members were complaining that their resignations had forged signatures and the NA Secretariat was being pressured into accepting these. She said the ECP must take notice of these violations and the NA Secretariat be directed to ensure that the constitutional procedure for resignations was followed.

“We are confident about our growing majority and will continue to take forward our agenda of ridding parliament of all those subverting the Constitution and its rules.”

Ms Rehman said the PPP and the joint opposition had, after a long-drawn-out battle, ousted the “destructive, divisive and self-obsessed PTI government” through a democratic and constitutional path of a vote of no confidence. “The whole country has been witness to the PTI leaders’ shameful subversions of the law and their one goal to remain in power at any cost to the nation,” she added.

Ayaz Sadiq said the PTI was repeating the 2014 episode when its MNAs had resigned but were not ready to appear before him [the then NA speaker] for confirmation of their resignations.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2022

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