JUI-F's Zahid Akram Durrani set to take oath as NA deputy speaker

Published April 20, 2022
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl MNA Zahid Akram Durrani. — Photo courtesy PTV World website
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl MNA Zahid Akram Durrani. — Photo courtesy PTV World website

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl MNA Zahid Akram Durrani did not take oath as the National Assembly (NA) deputy speaker on Wednesday as lawmakers paid tribute to late Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan MNA Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan.

Durrani was elected as deputy speaker after no other candidate filed nomination papers against him. The election and the oath-taking of the new deputy speaker were included in today's three-point agenda.

However, NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf allowed members to pay tribute to the services of the late lawmaker who had passed away in Karachi a day earlier. The house also offered prayers for Iqbal and the lives lost during the fire that broke out in Sindh's Dadu district.

"As you know, it is tradition that the business of the house is not conducted with a sitting member passes away. Therefore, we adjourn today's proceedings," he said.

The session has now been summoned for tomorrow (April 21) till 11:00am.

Suri's resignation

Durrani is preceded by Qasim Suri, who had resigned on April 16, less than an hour before voting was to be held on a no-trust motion against him.

Suri's resignation had come in the wake of weeks-long political turmoil that saw the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan through a no-trust vote and subsequently, the election of Shehbaz as the new premier.

During his last days in the office, Suri had come under fire for his contentious April 3 ruling to dismiss the no-confidence motion against Imran on grounds that it was contradictory to Article 5 of the Constitution. His ruling, however, was set aside by the Supreme Court, which had ordered that voting on the no-trust motion against Imran be held again.

On the eve of the voting that saw the end of Imran's government, the former opposition had filed a no-trust motion against Suri, saying he had "repeatedly violated the rules, parliamentary practices, democratic norms and traditions, and even Constitutional provisions and when presiding over the House, failed to conduct proceedings in an orderly manner to enable productive debate on issues of public importance".

Referring to Suri's decision to dismiss the no-trust move against the prime minister, the resolution said Suri "wilfully and mala fidely subverted the Constitution" and his actions fell under the purview of Article 6, which is related to treason.

Later, Suri faced further criticism for postponing an NA session for the election of the speaker of the house from April 16 to April 22. Moreover, the new ruling coalition had also accused Suri of pressuring the NA secretariat into accepting the resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNAs, who had quit the NA en masse and walked out of a session where Shehbaz was elected as the new prime minister on April 11.

On April 16, when voting on a no-trust motion against Suri was scheduled to take place, he stepped down as the deputy speaker.

Sharing a copy of his resignation on Twitter, Suri had said his move signified his association with the vision of his party, the PTI, and democracy.

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