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PTI decides to return to Assemblies, to attend Parliament’s joint sitting over Yemen situation

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced Sunday that its lawmakers will return to Parliament from Monday, after almost seven months of absence from the National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh when its legislators resigned in protest against alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections. “Our core committee has decided that the Tehreek-e-Insaf will go to the joint session tomorrow,” party chairman Imran Khan told a press conference here today after meeting of the Party’s Core Committee at Bani Gala.  “We have decided to return to the assemblies from Monday, where we will play our role as a formidable opposition. I will also attend the joint parliamentary session tomorrow and will present PTI’s stance on Yemen,” said the PTI chief. PTI lawmakers had resigned from the National Assembly after months of protests against alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections and what they termed as the government’s unwillingness to form the judicial commission to probe alleged electoral irregularities.  But the two sides came to a consensus last week when they signed an agreement on the formation of the judicial commission to investigate the alleged rigging in elections.  President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday also signed the ordinance for the formation of the commission. “We had previously decided that as long as the judicial commission is not formed we will not return to Parliament. But then we were told that a joint session has been called (on Yemen),” Khan told reporters. “Now that the judicial commission has been decided and an ordinance has been promulgated, we will attend Parliament from tomorrow,” he said. He said the Yemen issue is very important… I will attend myself and present my party’s point of view. “He made it clear that the PTI would oppose joining the Yemen war but at the same time said he was ready to sacrifice his life for the defence of the two Holy Mosque.Imran said Pakistan should put off the fire instead of joining the war.   He said “Pakistan is already paying the price for being involved in someone else’s war,” reiterating his earlier stance that Pakistan should not involve itself in the Yemen conflict despite Saudi Arabia’s pressure to do so. He said Pakistan suffered a loss of one hundred billion dollars in US war against terrorism and Afghan Jehad brought culture of heroine and Kalashnikov in Pakistan. He said that the joint session on Yemen — which the prime minister has summoned tomorrow (Monday) to discuss Pakistan’s role in the Middle East situation — was a major factor behind the decision to re-join Parliament. According to insiders, a majority of PTI lawmakers were in favour of returning to the National Assembly after promulgation of the ordinance as they believe that major demand of PTI has been met regarding the Judicial Commission to probe the allegations of the rigging in the general elections of May 2013. “Some MNA’s of the PTI also opposed the decision of the CEC as they believe that the party should wait until the actual formation of the commission because only an ordinance has been promulgated until now.” The PTI chief said he would go to every part of Karachi along with PTI candidate Imran Ismail. He said it is their right to contest elections. He said Imran Ismail was attacked twice but MQM as per past practice denied it. He said he has strictly asked his workers not to retaliate to MQM’s actions.  However he warned that if any worker was tortured, his lawyers team was ready in Britain and they would file case against Altaf Hussain with UK for inciting violence in Karachi.  He insisted that seventy lakh fake votes were cast during the elections and they would raise their voice in Assemblies, roads and at the judicial commission.  To a question, Imran Khan said they resigned from the Assemblies but those were not accepted and they are still members of the Parliament. He ruled out any one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  INP/AH/AJ


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