Resignations and PTI lawmakers

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday said that its lawmakers would appear before the Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Wednesday along with their resignation from the National Assembly.

PTI spokesperson Dr Shireen Mazari said that the party’s decision to resign from the National and Provincial assemblies was final. She said that the party chief Imran Khan had convened PTI’s parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday. She said that the party would not budge an inch from its stand on resignation from the assemblies and prime minister’s resignation. Meanwhile, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the decision to resign from the assemblies had been taken unanimously after threadbare deliberation over it in party meeting.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has finally decided to quit the National Assembly. The resignations of its 25 MNAs were lying with the Speaker for the last two months almost and in spite of his repeated requests to the PTI leadership to follow parliamentary rules, none of the resigning legislators felt the need to tender their resignations singly. Speaker of National Assembly was interested to call all the who were interested to resign, one by one to his chamber to confirm the will of the member regarding resignation, but PTI strongly criticized this act and was of the view that all the members of PTI in the parliament would present united to the speaker. Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Friday sent one final notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers to personally verify their resignations in his chamber otherwise all the resignations will be accepted.

Now, after a final notification from the Speaker, they will go en masse to the National Assembly today to do the needful. The government did not want to accept the resignations and had been waiting to ease the tension between the PTI, PAT and the incumbent government but after multiple tries of failure to do so, but months of patient waiting has done nothing except increase Imran’s obduracy in not settling for anything short of the prime minister’s resignation. Speaking at a rally in Gujarat on Friday evening, Imran Khan said that their resignations should be accepted immediately.

“Who are you to not accept our resignations,” he said while referring to PM Nawaz. “We will not go back in Parliament, and will cancel the party membership of anyone who opposes our decision.” It seems that resignations of PTI parliamentarian would be accepted. PTI will resign from the Punjab and Sindh Assemblies as well, and in consistent vein will not contest any by-elections. However, the party has decided to retain its government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). For the next four years, the party will sit outside parliament and still play the role of an opposition. After Muharram 10, the PTI will conduct two rallies every week in different cities. How long this process will continue, its hard to predict.  PTI has also announced that representatives of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf would be protesting in front of the building of Election Commission of Pakistan, on daily basis.

The PTI’s departure from parliamentary politics to the politics of agitation is a unique example of such politics. This is hardly an effort towards a Naya (new) Pakistan. Other than adding more issues to the ever increasing list of problems, Imran’s agitation will serve no purpose. If he is concerned about Pakistan, he should go back to parliament and conduct politics through the mandate given to him by his supporters in the 2013 elections. On the other side, incumbent government must also realize that it would not be for the parliament if the elected members would keep resigning from the parliament for whatever the reasons are.

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