The National Assembly session to select the 23rd prime minister of Pakistan on Monday plunged into confusion after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members walked out after Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced en masse resignations.
In the meanwhile, governors of Sindh Imran Ismael and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman tendered resignations from their office.
The assembly session commenced with Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri in the chair and attended by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari and other leaders present in the hall.
As the session commenced after the recitation of the Holy Quran, the deputy speaker gave reasons behind his ruling, which was set aside by Supreme Court.
“The ruling was declared unconstitutional by the apex court, and we all are obliged to respect the court. But I want to tell you the reason behind my ruling,” said Suri.
He said that the decision was taken “as a responsible Pakistani and deputy speaker of the NA”.
Suri then referred to the diplomatic communiqué and said that the cable was discussed during the meeting of the NSC, in the federal cabinet and a parliamentary committee meeting. It was “proven” that the no-trust motion was linked to a foreign conspiracy.
“On April 9, it was decided during a cabinet meeting that the cable would be declassified and sent to then-speaker Asad Qaiser by the government.”
The deputy speaker said that the speaker of the house reviewed the cable as well.
“Talking about an independent foreign policy, independent economy … and fighting the case of Islamophobia Imran Khan’s fault?”
“Was he [Imran] punished because he refused slavery?”
PTI senior leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi took the floor after the deputy speaker’s clarification on his earlier ruling.
As the former foreign minister concluded his speech, PTI and it’s allies stood up from their chairs and left the assembly hall amid sloganeering.
As Qureshi finished his speech, Sure said his “conscience no longer allows him to be a part of the proceedings” and gave the chair of the house to PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq.
In a video message after the meeting, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said PTI Chairman Imran Khan has decided that the PTI would not legitimise this ‘foreign-funded regime change’ in Pakistan by taking part in the election of the premier.
“The parliamentary meeting of the PTI gave Imran the complete authority to make decisions on the lawmakers’ behalf.”
Fawad said as per the directions of the chairman, no PTI lawmaker will vote in the election for the PM and after that, the PTI MNAs will also send their resignations to the National Assembly speaker.
He acknowledged that there was a difference of opinion over the decision to resign en masse from the assembly, but the parliamentary party gave Imran the authority to Take decision who decided in favour of resignations.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan said that there were two mega corruption cases against PML-N chief Shehbaz Sharif, and it would be the “biggest insult to the country” to elect him as the prime minister of Pakistan.
ASAD UMAR: Earlier in the day, PTI General Secretary Asad Umar in a letter told party lawmakers to vote for Shah Mehmood Qureshi else they will be considered defectors and disqualified under Article 63-A.
“I take this opportunity to convey to you that all members of parliamentary party are required to attend the session of National Assembly on April 11 for election Prime Minister of Pakistan and vote in favour Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who has been nominated as the candidate for prime minister,” Umar wrote.
THE ELECTION: As the PTI members left the house after announcing resignations, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif was elected unopposed. However, Ayaz Sadiq, who took the chair after Deputy Speaker Suri left, followed the procedure of election.
On Sunday, Shehbaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi submitted their nomination papers for the office of prime minister.