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ISLAMABAD: In order to tighten the noose around the dissidents ahead of the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday directed senior party leaders to chalk out a strategy to deal with those who declined to respond to the show-cause notices issued to them over a week ago.

The directives from the prime minister who is also chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came at a time when some of the PTI dissidents brazenly violated the party discipline despite, getting show cause notices from the party.

The dissidents were also seen openly supporting the joint opposition’s no-confidence motion, which left the party with no option but to consider initiating further action which, according to sources, could also be sending reference against them to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The prime minister held a special meeting with the senior PTI leader and additional general-secretary of the party Amir Mahmood Kayani and adviser to the prime minister on parliamentary affairs Babar Awan to discuss action against dissenting party members.

According to sources, the draft for yet another show-cause notices has been finalised and the notices will be issued to the concerned MNAs under Article 63-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Article 63-A of the Constitution strictly prohibits members of the assembly from crossing the floor; a member of the National Assembly who deviates from the party policy issued by the head of the parliamentary party must forego their seat.

The premier has given dissident members the opportunity to clarify their position by noon, April 1. If they do so, they would be pardoned. “Strict action will be taken against members who do not satisfy the party by the stipulated deadline,” the PTI stated.

Official references against MNAs who have openly deviated from party policy will be sent to the Speaker of the Assembly. The PTI will move to declare the seats of dissident members vacant under Article 63-A of the Constitution.

Days after PTI issued show-cause notices to 13 of its lawmakers on grounds of alleged defection, the disgruntled lawmakers responded on March 26 by vehemently denying the allegations as “baseless and untrue”.

The strongly-worded response came after the ruling party issued the notices when the dissenting PTI lawmakers were found staying at the Sindh House and openly expressed a lack of confidence in the prime minister.

The PTI had asked the lawmakers to explain within seven days about giving the impression that they were about to leave the party.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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