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‘Persuasion’ fails to retain MPA

February 28, 2012

LAHORE, Feb 28: The Punjab Assembly speaker has decided to accept the resignation of a PML-N MPA two months after it was tendered to him as the government has given a go ahead to Rana Muhammad Iqbal in this respect.

Shahid Mahmood Khan (PP-194, Multan) announced vacating his seat on Dec 24 to join Imran Khan’s Tehrik-i-Insaaf. He faxed his resignation accordingly from Karachi, where he was to attend the PTI rally on Dec 25.

But Speaker Rana Iqbal declined to accept saying Shahid should appear in person to do that for the satisfaction of the chair.

The MPA met the speaker in the Punjab Assembly chambers on Dec 26 and submitted his written resignation.

But the chair, as Shahid told Dawn, refused to accept the resignation saying he considered the MPA as his son and would not let him vacate the seat.

Rana Iqbal declined to give his version for the two-month delay in accepting the resignation when Dawn insisted and, as sources in the assembly secretariat revealed, instead contacted the PML-N authorities to seek guidance in this regard.

The chair was given a green signal to accept the resignation on Tuesday, the sources said.

Punjab Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan has confirmed the report that the speaker has accepted Shahid’s resignation.

When asked why the speaker took so long for the act, he defended the chair saying it wanted to verify the process instead of taking any decision in haste for avoiding repeat of the incident in which PML-N’s former woman MPA Shumaila Rana alleged that she had been forced to resign.

He did not respond when asked why the resignation by PPP MPA from Attock Khurram Ali Awan was accepted immediately although it was tendered almost at the same time when Shahid did.

A senior PML-N leader said Shahid was being persuaded to withdraw his decision but the efforts were discontinued after learning that the delay issue was likely to emerge in the media and it could entail legal complications. In the  process, he said, it was also ensured that the PML-N MPA’s vote was not cast in the Senate polls due on March 2 against the party interests.

Shahid Mehmood Khan confirmed that various candidates were approaching him to seek his vote in the Senate polls but he apologised them arguing that it would be against morality.