The PTI leaders termed National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s latest decision of accepting the resignations of another 35 party lawmakers as “illegal” and “immoral”, as they reiterated the need for early elections in the country.

Speaking outside the Parliament House soon after the resignations were accepted, Asad Qaiser, who is a former National Assembly speaker, condemned the move and said Ashraf called them to his office and told them that the resignations would not be accepted unless he talked to the MNAs separately.

On the occasion, PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry and asked about the PTI MNAs who Pervaiz Ashraf had claimed were in touch with him regarding their resignations.

Expressing his displeasure over the decision, the PTI leader blamed the current government for the political and economic crisis. “We are heading towards a Sri Lanka-like situation,” he said.

Asad Umar said that the speaker’s move proved that he was not a custodian of the House. The MNAs went to the National Assembly only to find that the whole staff was unavailable including the speaker, deputy speaker, secretary and deputy secretary, he added.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the speaker first claimed he could not accept the resignations collectively. “We decided to come to the meeting and he [the speaker] postponed it and when we came to the assembly, he accepted the resignations of 35 more MNAs,” said Qureshi, demanding that the rest of the resignations should also be accepted.

The party’s vice chairman said that the PTI wanted snap polls so that the people could decide for themselves.

Earlier in the day, Ashraf accepted the resignations of another 35 PTI lawmakers, just days after accepting the resignations of 34 of them as political maneuvering peaks in the country.

The PTI had resigned en masse from the Lower House of Parliament following the ouster of it chief Imran Khan from the office of prime minister in April last year.

Subsequently, the speaker had accepted only 11 of the resignations, stating that the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification. On Tuesday, Ashraf accepted 34 more as the PTI hinted it would “test” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with a confidence vote.

“In accordance with clause (1) of Article 64 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, read with Rule 43 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly of Pakistan 2007, the Hon’ble Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan has been pleased to accept the resignations of the following Members of the National Assembly with effect from April 11, 2022, the date when the letter of respective resignations was submitted,” the statement released by the National Assembly Secretariat read.

Following the approval of the resignations, the summary was sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to denotify the PTI lawmakers.

After the acceptance of 80 resignations since July, the strength of PTI MNAs in the assembly has shrunk to 73, including the dissidents.

Following are the names of those whose resignations were accepted Friday:

Dr Haider Ali Khan (NA-2), Saleem Rehman (NA-3), Sahibzada Sibghatullah (NA-5), Mehboob Shah (NA-6), Muhammad Bashir Khan (NA-7), Junaid Akbar (NA-8), Sher Akbar Khan (NA-9), Ali Khan Jadoon (NA-16), Engr Usman Khan Tarakai (NA-19), Mujahid Ali (NA-20), Arbab Amir Ayub (NA-28), Sher Ali Arbab (NA-30), Shahid Ahmed (NA-34), Gul Dad Khan (NA-40), Sajid Khan (NA-42), Mohammad Iqbal Khan (NA-44).

Aamer Mehmood Kiyani (NA-61), Syed Faiz ul Hassan (NA-70), Chaudhry Shoukat Ali Bhatti (NA-87), Umar Aslam Khan (NA-93), Amjad Ali Khan (NA-96), Khurram Shahzad (NA-107), Faizullah (NA-109), Malik Karamat Ali Khokhar (NA-135), Syed Fakhar Imam (NA-150), Zahoor Hussain Qureshi (NA-152), Ibraheem Khan (NA-158), Tahir Iqbal (NA-164), Aurangzeb Khan Khichi (NA-165), Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar (NA-177), Abdul Majeed Khan (NA-187).

Andaleeb Abbas (reserved seat), Asma Qadeer (reserved seat), Maleeka Ali Bokhari (reserved seat), Munawara Bibi Baloch (reserved seat).

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