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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said the dissident lawmakers who have been “misled” for one reason or the other by the “cunning opposition” should be given benefit of the doubt, if they want to come back to the party.

While chairing a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political committee, he said that the way the corrupt are exposed is like a blessing for the country as the dirty business of sell-outs should come to an end.

The sources said that the prime minister who is also chairman of the PTI, gave a go ahead to the party to approach the Supreme Court through a presidential reference – under Article 184(3) – seeking its opinion about applicability of Article 63(A) of the Constitution, pertaining to disqualification of an assembly member on grounds of defection.

They said that it was agreed in the meeting that horse-trading should be stopped at all costs as it is detrimental for teething democracy of the country.

They said that the apex court will be requested to give its opinion on the legal status of the vote when members of a party are explicitly involved in horse-trading and change loyalties in exchange for bribe.

According to sources, the PTI leadership also expressed full confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying “he has no alternative in the party.”

A day ago, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a presser, had categorically said that “PTI minus PM Imran Khan is simply out of question”.

The participants of the meeting reiterated that they would fight against the “mafia” polluting the politics for their own vested interest and ending the graft cases against themselves pending different court.

“I will chase these three stooges [Asif Zardari, Fazlur Rehman, and Shehbaz Sharif] as long as I’m here and they should be exposed before the masses for the damage they’ve done to this country,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.

The prime minister directed the senior leadership of the party to ensure participation of people in March 27 public gathering in order to expose the “dirty faces of the politicians” behind the no-trust move.

The prime minister was given a briefing about the PTI dissidents, JKT group. He directed defence minister Pervez Khattak and others to continue contacts with political parties including the dissident and the JKT group.

The sources said that three dissident PTI MNAs have approached the PTI leadership to return to the party.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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