ISLAMABAD: Amid gro­wing acrimony between the PTI and the PML-N, Natio­nal Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday accepted the resignations of 11 PTI lawmakers who had resigned after the vote of no confidence against former PM Imran Khan.

According to the NA Secretariat, the resignations of Dr Shireen Mazari, Far­rukh Habib, Ali Muhammad Khan, Fazal Muhammad Khan, Shaukat Ali, Fakhar Zaman Khan, Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Akram Cheema, Abdul Shakoor Shad and Shandana Gulzar Khan have been accepted.

Out of these members, Ms Gulzar and Ms Mazari were elected on the reserved seats.

After the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan through a successful no-confidence motion in the NA on April 10, 131 PTI members and Awami Muslim Lea­gue’s (AML) Sheikh Rashid had submitted their resignations.

The NA secretariat had sent notices to these lawmakers on May 30, asking them to appear in person before the speaker to confirm their resignations, however none of them appeared.

The speaker was expected to accept more resignations in the coming days.

Earlier, sources in the NA secretariat had said that a majority of the resignations submitted by the PTI MNAs were not handwritten and had similar text printed on the party’s letterhead.

The source added that the secretariat staff also had doubts over the signatures of some members as they didn’t match with those on the assembly’s roll.

Most of these MNAs had submitted their resignations on April 11 when Shehbaz Sharif was elected prime minister. Some of them, including former NA deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri and Sheikh Rashid had submitted their resignations on a later date.

After forming the government in Punjab, on the back of the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring Parvez Elahi as the chief minister, it was expected that Mr Khan would review his decision to resigned from the NA, as assembly business has been badly affected for the last few months. Many standing committees were without a head after the resignation of PTI lawmakers.

However, on Wednesday the PTI chairman categorically ruled out the possibility of any negotiation with the ruling coalition and reiterated his demanded for early elections.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2022

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