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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has challenged the phase-wise acceptance of resignations of its Members of National Assembly (MNAs) before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

PTI Central Secretary General Asad Umar on Monday filed a petition before the IHC and prayed before the court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-notify all the PTI MNAs and declare the seats as vacant.

He prayed before the court to declare all the resignations as accepted. However, the registrar office of the IHC raised an objection to the PTI petition and asked the petitioner to rectify it.

In his petition, Umar stated the parliamentary committee of his party had decided to resign from NA, collectively, as it wanted to get fresh mandate but the resignations were being accepted on the basis of pick and choose.

He maintained that the speaker National Assembly had no authority to keep the matter of resignations pending. Therefore, the petitioner prayed before the court to direct the ECP to de-notify all MNAs of the PTI and declare their seats as vacant.

The petition stated that the present speaker National Assembly had no “lawful authority or jurisdiction” to conduct the process of verification of the resignations of 123 PTI MNAs as they had already been accepted by the then deputy speaker, Qasim Suri.

“Hence, the impugned act of the present speaker is unsustainable being illegal, unconstitutional, unwarranted, malafide, discriminatory, and politically motivated.” Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was “bound to notify” the resignations “en bloc” to the ECP, it added.

Suri, in his capacity as the acting speaker, on April 13 had accepted the resignations of 123 PTI MNAs, who had accepted their party chairman Imran Khan’s appeal after his removal from the office of the prime minister through a no-confidence motion earlier in April. However, on April 17, the newly-elected NA Speaker, Ashraf directed the assembly secretariat to deal with the resignations of the PTI lawmakers afresh and present them before him so that they could be treated as per law.

The petition said that due to the delay in holding the polls, the petitioner, as well as, the constituents, were being deprived of their constitutional rights to participate in the governance of the country, the petition added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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