LAHORE: PPP vice chairman and former prime minister Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani has questioned PTI participation in the National Assembly by-election.

“Since PTI MNAs are not participating in the assembly session after submitting their resignations, they have no right to contest the by-election,” he told media after visiting a number of mourning processions in Multan on Monday.

Criticizing Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Mr Gilani said Mr Qureshi was not attending the assembly session and how his daughter (Mehr Bano Qureshi) would take oath as an MNA if she won the by-poll in NA-157. He said people would vote for a candidate having the ability to represent them in the National Assembly instead of a candidate whose party was boycotting the assembly after submitting resignations.

Answering a question about the acceptance of PTI MNAs’ resignations, the former premier said their members had not been presented before Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf for verification of their resignations and when they were called, they refused to come.

About inflation, he said the previous government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on tough terms and conditions was the main reason behind inflation in the country. He said the incumbent government was bound to honour the international agreements which were not made with a political party but with the country. Mr Gilani maintained there should be supremacy of law and constitution to strengthen the country. Saying that the judiciary and Election Commission of Pakistan were independent, he asserted that the PPP always honoured the court verdicts even when he was disqualified from prime ministership despite the fact that he was an elected prime minister.

He said all senior leaders of different political parties, including Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, remained in jail during the PTI government.

The PPP leader alleged that the commissioner Multan had submitted an application for leave due to intense pressure on him before the NA-157 by-election and demanded that the ECP take notice of it.

Mr Gilani urged the masses to maintain peace during ongoing Muharram.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2022

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