PTI MNAs to meet National Assembly speaker on Thursday for verification of resignations

Published December 28, 2022
National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf talks to former chief whip of PTI Malik Amir Dogar over the phone. — Photo by NA/Twitter
National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf talks to former chief whip of PTI Malik Amir Dogar over the phone. — Photo by NA/Twitter

After multiple delays, the National Assembly (NA) spokesperson said on Wednesday that a meeting between PTI lawmakers and Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has been scheduled on Thursday for the personal verification of party MNAs’ pending resignations.

The PTI had announced mass resignations from the National Assembly in April, a day after party chief Imran Khan’s ouster as the prime minister through a no-confidence vote and shortly before Shehbaz Sharif was elected as his successor.

On July 28, the National Assembly speaker accepted the resignations of only 11 PTI lawmakers who had resigned after the vote of no confidence against the former PM.

The PTI had first challenged the move in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 1, contesting that it was “unsustainable”. The IHC, however, had dismissed the petition on September 6.

The party then approached the Supreme Court, praying it to set aside the IHC order, terming it “vague, cursory, and against the law”. A decision on the PTI’s plea in the apex court is still pending.

However, Ashraf had repeatedly said that he won’t accept the resignations without “confirming their genuineness”. Earlier this month, in a letter addressed to PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, he invited the party MNAs for verification.

In an update on the matter today, the NA spokesperson tweeted that former PTI chief whip Malik Amir Dogar and Ashraf spoke via the telephone today.

“The speaker told Dogar that both he and the deputy speaker were present in their offices and were waiting for PTI MNAs,” he said. “After mutual consultation, it has been decided that PTI lawmakers will meet the speaker in his chamber at 11:30 tomorrow (Thursday).”

During the phone call, the speaker also remarked that all the parties should play their role in the parliament for the betterment and welfare of the country, the spokesperson added.

This is the second telephonic conversation between Dogar and Ashraf this week. A day earlier, the former chief whip of PTI called Ashraf — who was in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh for a PPP power show — and requested a formal meeting to deliberate upon the issue of the confirmation of resignations of 124 PTI MNAs.

Dogar told the NA speaker that a delegation of PTI leaders consisting of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pervez Khattak and others wanted to meet him.

However, later on Tuesday, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry told journalists in Lahore that when party leaders called on Ashraf today, he was “nowhere to be found”.

“[We were] told that the speaker has gone to Larkana,” Chaudhry had claimed. “We’re getting information that he’s going to Australia afterwards.”

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