PTI-SIC names Omar Ayub as NA leader of opposition

Published March 10, 2024
PTI-backed lawmaker Omer Ayub Khan speaks on the floor of the National Assembly. — photo courtesy NA/X
PTI-backed lawmaker Omer Ayub Khan speaks on the floor of the National Assembly. — photo courtesy NA/X

ISLAMABAD: The PTI-Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) alliance formally nominated Omar Ayub Khan for the leader of the opposition by submitting his documents to the office of National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Saturday.

Around 90 MNAs belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had joined the SIC after contesting general elections as independent candidates in an attempt to secure reserved seats.

The nomination papers were submitted by Malik Amir Dogar in the presence of SIC supremo Sahib­zada Hamid Raza, MNAs Ali Mohammad Khan, Riaz Fatyana, Dr Nisar Ahmad Jatt and others.

While talking to Dawn, Dr Jatt, who defeated PML-N’s stalwart Rana Sanaullah in general elections, said: “All the members supported by the PTI have signed the nomination papers.

“As per my information, Mehmood Khan Achakzai has also signed the document. However, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Balochistan National Party-Mengal have not signed it.”

By not signing the documents for Mr Ayub’s nomination, the JUI-F and BNP-M will be under no legal obligation to boycott any session of the National Assembly on the call of opposition leader.

Responding to a question, Dr Jatt expressed the hope that Mr Ayub would become the opposition leader in the NA through nomination, instead of election, on March 13 or 14.

Recently, when NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq did not allow Mr Ayub to speak on the floor of the house, former NA speaker Asad Qaiser said Mr Ayub was the opposition leader and should be allowed to speak.

However, the speaker reminded him that a written application should be submitted by the members/party if they really were interested to nominate Mr Ayub as opposition leader.

It is the parliamentary tradition that whenever leader of the opposition rises to speak, he traditionally gets the floor to speak.

Leader of the opposition, who sits in front of the NA speaker on his left side and on the right side of the leader of the house, enjoys the status of a federal minister. He gets a separate office where usually opposition parties hold meetings.

The Public Accounts Committee is usually headed by leader of the opposition, though PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat had claimed a few days back to have been nominated by party’s founding chairman Imran Khan as nominee for the PAC position.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2024

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