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ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday criticised National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf following reports that he had already processed the resignations of the party’s lawmakers remaining in the house.

The reports said that NA speaker had already processed the resignations of the remaining 44 PTI MNAs after accepting the 81 resignations shortly after the party hinted at going back to parliament to grab the coveted slot of opposition leader to keep the incumbent opposition leader from holding talks on the appointment of caretaker prime minister if general elections are announced.

In a tweet, Chaudhary strongly reacted to the development, saying the purpose of the PTI members going back to the assembly was to oust Raja Riaz from the position of the opposition leader.

“Otherwise, we have no reason to return to National Assembly. Right now, Shehbaz Sharif and his government have lost the support of 172 lawmakers,” he tweeted.

He also pointed out that 40 percent of seats in the NA were now empty, adding the only solution to this crisis is elections.

Today’s development comes a day after 45 PTI MNAs sent their handwritten withdrawals to the speaker via email and demanded the nomination of a new opposition leader from among them.

The PTI members also met Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and informed him about their decision to return to the National Assembly after nine months.

A total of 131 MNAs had submitted resignations minutes before the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister in April.

Subsequently, NA Speaker Ashraf accepted only 11 of the resignations, stating that the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification.

After stalling the process for eight months, Ashraf accepted the resignations of 34 PTI MNAs on January 17 and 35 MNAs on January 20, including Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, as the party hinted it would “test” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with a confidence vote.

Meanwhile, PTI additional secretary general Omer Ayub blasted the government for the power blackout, saying it could have been averted if they had not concentrated on giving themselves NRO-2 to end their corruption cases and worked on governance.

In a statement issued here, he said that the power blackout in the country was a gross negligence, through which the government wanted to save fuel.

He said that the PTI government had made huge investments on transmission and distribution system, adding the PTI government took transmission capacity from 17,000MW to over 27,000MW.

He said that the PTI government had ended load-shedding in 80 per cent of the country except high-loss feeders even during peak summer months.

He said that the government was resorting to load-shedding across Pakistan in winter, which shows its incontinence, and mismanagement.

“The basic issue is that the government has bankrupted the country and run out of dollars to purchase commodities including fuel. If the government had not concentrated on giving themselves an NRO-2 and worked on governance, this could have been averted,” he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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