A delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNAs on Thursday met National Assembly Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf to discuss the issue of resignations.
Led by former speaker Asad Qaiser, the delegation called on Parvez Ashraf at Parliament House amid talks of the PTI’s possible return to the assembly.
The delegation included Qasim Suri, Amir Dogar, Dr Shabbir Hussain, Ataullah, Fahim Khan and Tahir Iqbal.
During the meeting, Speaker Ashraf said that “in politics, doors are not closed; there should be links between politicians”.
He said that all the PTI lawmakers would be summoned individually.
The meeting was arranged after PTI former chief whip Amir Dogar’s phone call to Speaker Ashraf to hold talks over the matter of resignations.
The speaker welcomed the meeting, saying that dialogues are the only solution in a parliamentary democracy.
However, he said that the verification of PTI lawmakers’ resignation would still be subject to one-by-one meetings.
On Wednesday, the NA speaker had said that the PTI delegation did not come to meet him 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 Speaker 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 (PPP) 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 BACKGROUND: 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.
The PTI had announced mass resignations from the National Assembly in April, a day after party chief Imran Khan’s ouster as the prime minister through a no-confidence vote and shortly before Shehbaz Sharif was elected as his successor.
On July 28, the National Assembly speaker accepted the resignations of only 11 PTI lawmakers who had resigned after the vote of no confidence against the former PM.
The PTI had first challenged the move in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 1, contesting that it was “unsustainable”. The IHC, however, had dismissed the petition on September 6.
The party then approached the Supreme Court, praying it to set aside the IHC order, terming it “vague, cursory, and against the law”. A decision on the PTI’s plea in the apex court is still pending.