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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday initiated legal action against its 20 dissident members of the National Assembly by submitting a reference with Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser under Article 63A(1)(a) for de-seating them from membership of the Lower House of Parliament.

The reference was submitted to Speaker Qaiser by the party’s chief whip, Amir Dogar, representing party chairman Imran Khan, which was later forwarded to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for further action, accordingly. The ECP is legally bound to decide on the reference within 30 days of receipt.

In the reference, party chief – Imran Khan – has referred to a “large-scale” broadcast, and videos circulated on different fora of media that the party members left the parliamentary party of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and joined the opposition parties, consisting upon PML-N, Pakistan People’s Party-Parliamentarian (PPPP) and other political parties that have already brought a motion of vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the 8th of March 2022. It stated that the contents of the videos shown on media, were neither denied nor any rebuttal was issued to this act of defection by the referred members.

It added that following the reports and information, show-cause notices were issued to them on March 31, 2022 and an opportunity was provided to them to appear before the head of the parliamentary part and clarify as to why a declaration may not be issued against them for getting them de-seated from the membership of the National Assembly in compliance of the Constitutional provisions.

PM orders filing of reference against dissident PTI MNAs

It added that the members failed to respond to the show-cause notices in pursuant to Article 63(A) of the Constitution of Pakistan and also failed to appear before the undersigned and clarify their positions with regard to the allegations levelled against them in the show cause notices.

It stated that the members failed to adhere to their sacred duty by deceiving the confidence of the party, the voters and public at large and by changing their loyalties to another parliamentary party, causing irreparable loss to the democratic system and political values such as honesty, Amanat and loyalty and blatantly injured the cause and object of the PTI and under the circumstances they cannot be attributed as honest, Ameen, righteous, and sagacious.

It further stated that sufficient material was available to hold that the members by joining another parliamentary party exhibited the change of their loyalties to another parliamentary party during the no-confidence motion and wilfully defied the trust and policy of the party, as well as, violated the oath by disobeying the sacred command set out in Article 63-A of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973.

“Therefore, they committed clear cut defection under article 63A (1) (a) by joining the other parliamentary party,” it stated, adding that the members are held to have defected from the PTI under Article 63A (1) (a) of the Constitution 1973. Through the reference, the PTI chief urged the Speaker to initiate proceedings to de-seat the dissident members accordingly.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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