MNAs to be summoned individually for verification of resignations, speaker tells PTI

Waqar Satti
Web Desk
National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf meeting with PTI delegation at the Parliament House. — Waqar Satti
National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf meeting with PTI delegation at the Parliament House. — Waqar Satti

  • PTI delegation meets NA speaker in his chamber.
  • Delegation was led by former speaker Asad Qaiser.
  • Doors are not closed in politics, speaker tells PTI.

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday informed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) delegation led by Asad Qaiser that for verification of the resignation the party’s lawmakers will be called individually. 

The delegation met the speaker in his chamber to discuss their resignation verification issue amid talk of the party's return to the assembly.

The delegation included former speaker Asad Qaiser, Qasim Suri, Amir Dogar, Dr Shabbir Hussain, Ataullah, Fahim Khan and Tahir Iqbal.

“Doors are not closed in politics there should be contact between politicians,” the speaker told the delegation. He added that decision on the resignations will be made as per the Constitution and rules of the assembly.

The speaker added that he had invited PTI lawmakers to confirm the resignations. He added that when he accepted a few resignations one of the PTI lawmakers from Karachi appealed to a high court to stop the resignation.

Later, Ashraf, in conversation to the media after meeting with the PTI delegation, said that they met in a very "pleasant environment".

Sharing the details of the meeting, Ashraf said that the delegation members asked him to accept the resignations of 127 PTI members en bloc.

"However, I told them that there are some rules and regulations and limitations [regarding the approval of resignations]," he said.

Article 64 of the Constitution requires a handwritten resignation by a lawmaker, which must be verified by the NA speaker by summoning the relevant MNA in person.

"The speaker has the responsibility to make sure that the [resigning] MNAs are not under pressure," he added.

Ashraf further stated that he told the PTI delegation to return to the Parliament.

Ashraf said that some of the MNAs even approached the courts, contending that they didn't tender the resignations, some applied for leaves and some used to leave after marking attendance in the assembly.

Moving on to the party positions, the NA speaker said that it is a completely different matter if a party maintains a political stance.

PTI's Chief Whip Amir Dogar had contacted the NA speaker, requesting him to meet the PTI delegation.

According to Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, he welcomed them to meet him, saying that dialogues are the only solution in a parliamentary democracy. However, he added that verification of their resignation would still be subject to one-by-one meetings.

However, on Wednesday, the NA speaker said that the PTI delegation did not come to meet him today and asked for a meeting today at 11:30am.

"Dogar told me that some of the PTI leaders wanted to meet me regarding their resignations; however, I told him that I would meet all of them separately and not in groups," added Ashraf.

On Wednesday, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said they are willing to play a role in Parliament, but the government is not ready to commit seriously.

The PTI leader made the remarks while reacting to Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari's statement against PTI chief Imran Khan.

Bilawal, addressing a gathering in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh held to mark the 15th death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, asked the PTI chief to return to parliament as neither he nor his party “could bear” what’s coming to them.

The PTI MNAs had resigned en masse after PTI Chairman Imran Khan was voted out from the prime minister's office in April and have yet to return to the house.