ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday issued notices to 46 dissident members of the National and Punjab assemblies, asking them to appear before it on April 28 and May 6, respectively.

The decision was taken at an ECP meeting during which a letter written to the commission by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was deliberated upon.

The ECP in its meeting, which was chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and attended, among others, by the ECP secretary, noted that it had not yet received any notification from the National Assembly speaker against the resignations of PTI members and said it would proceed in accordance with the law as and when the notifications of resignations were received.

Notices were issued to the PTI, besides 20 MNAs and 26 MPAs, asking them to appear before the commission.

The PTI had filed references against 20 members of the National Assembly seeking their disqualification under Article 63-A of the Constitution ahead of the no-trust vote against then premier Imran Khan.

The PTI had filed references against MNAs Noor Alam Khan, Dr Mohammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, Nawab Sher Waseer, Raja Riaz Ahmad, Ahmed Hussain Deharr, Rana Mohammad Qasim Noon, Asim Nazeer, Amjad Farooq Khosa, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Chaudhry Farrukh Altaf, Syed Mobeen Ahmed, Sayed Sami-ul-Hassan Gillani, Mohammad Abdul Ghaffar Wattoo, Sayed Basit Ahmad Sultan, Aamir Talal Gopang, Sardar Riaz Mehmood Khan Mazari, Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Wajiha Qamar, Nuzhat Pathan and Javeria Zafar.

Also, Punjab Assembly speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is said to have sent references against 26 dissident PTI MPAs to the ECP.

Abdul Aleem Khan, Raja Sagheer, Ghulam Rasool Saeed, Saeed Akbar, Faisal Hayat, Mehar Aslam, Khalid Mehmood, Nazeer Chohan, Nauman Langrial, Ameen Zulkurnain, Mohammad Salman, Zawar Hussian, Nazeer Ahmed, Fida Hussain, Ayesha Nawaz, Sajida Yusuf, Mohammad Tahir, Uzma Kardar and Sibtain Raza are among the 26 MPAs against whom references had reportedly been filed.

In a letter, the PTI chairman had informed the ECP over a week ago that the party lawmakers had resigned from the National Assembly and asked the commission not to appoint any of them as Leader of the Opposition or a member of any parliamentary committee.

The letter, which was submitted by Babar Awan to the ECP, demanded that strict action be taken against those who used PTI’s name at any forum.

In the letter, Mr Khan claimed that since an elected government was changed through a “foreign conspiracy”, the PTI being the largest political party in Pakistan did not recognise the “imported government” formed in an “unconstitutional way”. In this situation, he stated, the PTI had resigned from all the seats in the National Assembly on April 11, while references had also been filed for action against the dissidents under Article 63-A of the Constitution.

“I hereby withdraw the names of women and minority members on the reserved seats of PTI MNAs, the party will not be responsible for any action taken by these members. PTI MNAs have resigned, so no member should be nominated in the name of PTI as the Leader of the Opposition or member of parliamentary committee,” Mr Khan said.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2022

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