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NA speaker defends decision to accept resignations of PTI lawmakers

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Raja Pervaiz Ashraf

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday defended his decision to accept the resignations of PTI lawmakers, saying he only did so after they were able to “satisfy him” by proving that it was a “voluntary decision and not under pressure”.

In an apparent bid to scuttle the PTI’s purported plan to bring a confidence motion agai­nst Prime Minister Shehbaz Sha­rif, Ashraf on Tuesday had accepted the resignations of 34 PTI lawmakers alongside Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid, resulting in their de-notification by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The ECP communiqué regarding the de-notification of the members, mostly the top brass of the PTI and former members of Imran Khan’s cabinet, came as a surprise for the PTI as well as political experts as only two weeks back, the speaker had refused to accept the resignations.

Meanwhile, PTI leader and former NA speaker Asad Qaiser had termed Ashraf’s move to be a “grave injustice” to the speaker’s office.

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“When you occupy a constitutional position, then you should make decisions keeping in mind the law and the Constitution. You have to act in accordance with the law [rather] than fulfilling the wishes of political people,” Qaiser had said.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, the NA speaker said he had accepted the resignations of those lawmakers who had satisfied him that they had tendered the resignations voluntarily as well as those who had made their stance on the matter clear in the media.

Ashraf said that several PTI lawmakers had contacted him, saying they were still pondering over the decision to resign from the lower house of parliament.

“Many PTI members spoke to me on the phone and said they were still thinking about it. They also told me that they were initially told that tendering resignations was only a pressure tactic.”

Ashraf said he became doubtful after hearing such statements and did not accept the resignations till he was completely satisfied. “Before I accept any resignation, I make sure that the person resigning made the decision according to their own will and conscience.”

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He said, “There is a hue and cry when I don’t accept resignations, and a hue and cry when I do.”

Ashraf rejected the claim that he accepted the resignations due to PTI Chairman Imran Khan hinting at the party’s return to the assembly.

“There is nothing as such. The process of accepting the resignations was initiated when the PTI delegation visited me,” he said, referring to the meeting held last month.

“We went over their media statements, their tweets, and their signatures before taking a decision regarding their resignations.”

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Corps Commander Peshawar meets Utmanzai tribe elders

Corps Commander Peshawar meets Utmanzai tribe elders

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Corps Commander Peshawar meets Utmanzai tribe elders

Corps Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Hasan Azhar Hayat on Wednesday met Utmanzai tribal elders from North Waziristan and thanked them for fighting alongside the Pakistan Army in the war against terror.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Utmanzai tribal elders, while appreciating the unwavering spirit of the Pakistan Army, said that the tribal people valued its sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

On the occasion, the Corps Commander said, “The Pakistan Army is using all its resources for the welfare of the people in the tribal areas. It is taking concrete steps along with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to ensure the representation of the youth in minerals and other sectors, including better provision of education, besides the gradual return of other tribes to their respective areas.”

The tribal elders expressed the commitment that the tribal people would always stand beside the Pakistan Army and other law enforcement agencies for the solidarity and integrity of the country.

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Shehbaz claims party’s number in National Assembly reaches 104 as independents join

Shehbaz claims party’s number in National Assembly reaches 104 as independents join

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Shehbaz claims party's number in National Assembly reaches 104 as independents join

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and nominated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif claimed that with independent candidates their number in the National Assembly reached 104.

Addressing the meeting of the parliamentary party, Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the successful members of the parliament.

The prime minister-designate said that the members of the assembly had won without doubt. He said that the party achieved success across the country.

He said that the party chief Nawaz Sharif had controlled load-shedding in 2017, brought CPEC projects into the country, connected the four provinces through a motorway, and got land for the Diamer Bhasha Dam.

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More to read: Nawaz Sharif nominates Shehbaz as PM, Ayaz for NA speaker: Tarar

Shehbaz Sharif said that the terrorists were eliminated under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, and the people of Karachi gave prayers to Nawaz Sharif who established peace in Karachi.

The nominated prime minister further said that Benazir was martyred but no one looked at GHQ. He questioned the language used when Nawaz Sharif fell ill and was jailed along with Maryam Nawaz.

Shehbaz Sharif said people questioned about the performance of the 16 months. “I would say we saved Pakistan from bankruptcy,” he said. , and once again I congratulate all the elected members.

On this occasion, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif presented a resolution to pay tribute to Nawaz Sharif as well as his sacrifices for democracy. 

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National Assembly’s inaugural session to take place on Feb 29

National Assembly’s inaugural session to take place on Feb 29

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National Assembly's inaugural session to take place on Feb 29

The inaugural session of the National Assembly will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am.

The Assembly secretariat issued a notification in this regard.

“National Assembly session to begin at 10am tomorrow [Thursday],” the notification read.

More to follow…

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