Have not received LHC order suspending resignations of 43 PTI lawmakers, says NA speaker

Published February 9, 2023
National Assembly speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf speaks in a video message released on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
National Assembly speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf speaks in a video message released on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said on Thursday that the NA Secretariat had not yet received the Lahore High Court’s order — in which the acceptance of the resignations of 43 PTI lawmakers was suspended — as the de-notified MNAs arrived at the Parliament House.

The PTI resigned en masse from the NA last year in April. After Ashraf stalled the process for months, he accepted the resignations earlier this year, following which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-notified 123 MNAs (including reserved seats).

However, on Wednesday, LHC suspended the de-notification orders of 43 party MNAs and issued notices to the federal government and the electoral body.

In a video message today, Ashraf said that he had not received the LHC’s order nor was it in his knowledge. “The order is not with us … we can’t read it or go into the details.”

He stated that the government was only made a “party” in the case, which he claimed they “heard on television and have not received the notice”.

“I believe that once the decision comes and we read it … we will consult our lawyers and experts and then decide the way forward,” the NA speaker added.

On the other hand, the PTI lawmakers Sajida Begum, Rai Murtaza Iqbal, Nusrat Wahid, Shanila Ruth, Asma Hamid, Ghazals Saifi and Jai Parkash — whose resignations have been suspended — arrived at the Parliament House on Thursday morning with an aim to “bring in our own opposition leader”.

Talking to reporters outside NA secretariat, the Senate’s Opposition Leader Shahzad Waseem said that the speaker was bound to respect the court’s orders.

“The high court has clearly said that the speaker’s acceptance of resignations is illegal,” he asserted, adding that PTI lawmakers will go to the Parliament today.

“God willing, we will have our own opposition leader,” Waseem added.

PTI lawmakers whose resignations have been suspended

  1. Muhammad Riaz Khan Fatyana
  2. Nasrullah Khan Dreshak
  3. Tahir Sadiq
  4. Zulfiqar Ali Khan
  5. Haji Imtiaz Chowdry
  6. Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah Tiwana
  7. Raza Nasrullah
  8. Muhammad Mehboob Sultan
  9. Muhammad Ameer Sultan
  10. Rai Muhammad Murtaza Iqbal
  11. Mian Muhammad Shafiq
  12. Muhammad Farooq Azam Malik
  13. Javed Iqbal Warakh
  14. Muhammad Shabbir Ali Qureshi
  15. Niaz Ahmed
  16. Khwaja Sheraz Mehmood
  17. Sardar Mohammad Khan Leghari
  18. Rukhsana Naveed
  19. Seemin Bukhari
  20. Munaza Hassan
  21. Nusrat Wahid
  22. Fauzia Behram
  23. Tashfeen Safdar
  24. Lal Chand
  25. Jai Parkash
  26. Jamshed Thomas
  27. Malik Anwar Taj
  28. Mohammad Yaqoob Sheikh
  29. Ghazala Saifi
  30. Syma Nadeem
  31. Naureen Farooque Khan
  32. Uzma Riaz
  33. Shaheen Niaz Saifullah
  34. Gul Zafar Khan
  35. Jawad Hussain
  36. Rahat Amanullah Bhatti
  37. Sobia Kamal Khan
  38. Nausheed Hamid
  39. Rubina Jamil
  40. Nafeesa Inayatullah Khattak
  41. Sajida Zulfiqar
  42. Zile Huma
  43. Shunila Ruth

PTI resignations

PTI lawmakers had resigned en masse from the lower house of parliament following the ouster of PTI chief Imran Khan in April last year.

NA Speaker Ashraf on July 28, 2022, accepted the resignations of only 11 PTI lawmakers.

The PTI had challenged the “piecemeal acceptance” in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), contesting that it was “unsustainable”. The IHC, however, had dismissed the petition on Sept 6, 2022.

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.

Ashraf told a PTI delegation on Dec 29, 2022, that the party’s lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification of their resignations as the latter insisted on them being accepted in one go.

But after stalling the process for eight months, the NA speaker accepted the resignations of 34 PTI MNAs on Jan 17 and 35 MNAs on Jan 20, including Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, as the party hinted it would “test” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with a confidence vote.

On Jan 24, 43 PTI MNAs had written to the NA speakers withdrawing their resignations. However, the speaker had already accepted the resignations by then. Subsequently, on Jan 25, the ECP de-notified 43 more PTI lawmakers, taking the total number to 123.



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