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LHC seeks reply from NA speaker in PTI MNA’s resignations case

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LHC seeks reply from NA speaker in PTI MNA's resignations case

he Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday sought replies from National Assembly Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf and other respondents on a matter related to acceptance of resignations of 43 PTI MNAs.

Justice Shahid Kareem heard the petition filed by 43 PTI leaders, including Riaz Fatyana, against the speaker for accepting their resignation without a due process.They requested the judge to declared the notification issued by Mr Ashraf null and void. The court has directed the speaker to submit his reply till March 7.

The petition comes over a week after the high court suspended a move of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to denotify them as members of the National Assembly (MNAs).

The LHC had not suspended the speaker’s action to accept their resignations, which had been submitted in April last following the ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan as prime minister through a no-confidence vote, as the notification was not attached to the previous petition.

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Following the suspension of the ECP notification, the PTI lawmakers, on Feb 9, tried to attend the National Assembly session but it was abruptly adjourned by the deputy speaker to thwart their bid.

Later, speaker’s office issued a statement claiming that the LHC had upheld Mr Ashraf’s decision in its detailed verdict as his notification had not been suspended.

The detailed verdict dated Feb 10 stated that “the notification of the NA speaker on January 22 has not been attached (though challenged) and thus no interim relief can be considered to that extent.”

It added that the ECP notification will remain “suspended and the election schedule for the seats shall not be announced by the ECP”. “The process of by-elections to these shall remain suspended,” the verdict read.

On Feb 8, the LHC suspended an order issued by the ECP)to denotify 43 PTI leaders as MNAs. Justice Shahid Karim had announced the verdict on the petitions filed by the PTI lawmakers.

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On Jan 24, Mr Ashraf accepted resignations of 43 more PTI lawmakers a day after they announced the withdrawal of their resignations in a bid to bar opposition leader Raja Riaz, a dissident PTI leader, from negotiating with the government on caretaker set-up in case general elections are announced. The move took the tally of PTI resignations approved by the speaker to 124 as he had approved 70 resignations earlier and 11 in August last. The resignations were submitted by the PTI MNAs in April last in protest against the ouster of Imran Khan as prime minister through a no-confidence vote.

The speaker accepted the resignations of Riaz Fatyana, Sardar Tariq Hussain, Mohammad Yaqub Sheikh, Murtaza Iqbal, Sardar Mohammad Khan Leghari, Zile Humma, Rukhsana Naveed, Ghazala Saifi, Nousheen Hamid, Sobia Kamal Khan and others.

Following the speaker’s decision, the electoral body denotified 43 MNAs of Imran-led party. The swift approval of the resignations came after Imran Khan-led party took a U-turn on resignations and announced its return to the assembly to put Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to test through a no-confidence vote.

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale struck various parts of Punjab including Lahore on Monday 

People came out of their homes in panic and started reciting verses from the Holy Quran. No loss of life and property was reported in any part of Punjab. 

According to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, Islamabad, the epicentre of the earthquake was located five kilometres south of Sheikhupura at the depth of 45 kilometres.

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army has shot down a spy quadcopter of Indian Army on the Line of Control (LoC).

According to a statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the Pakistan Army (ISPR), on Monday, an Indian Air Force quadcopter spying on Pakistan was shot down.

The ISPR said that the army has found the downed quadcopter inside Pakistani territory.

It may be recalled that it is the fifth anniversary of Operation Swift Retort today. On February 27, 2019, the Pakistan Air Force shot down Indian fighter planes that violated Pakistani airspace. 

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

 An accountability court indicted the PTI founder and his wife Bushra Bibi in the ill-famous 190 million pound case – also previously known as Al-Qadir Trust case – as the judge, Nasir Javed Rana, held hearing at the Adiala jail.

All the cases involving the former PTI chairman are being heard at the jail premises – where he is imprisoned – because of the security threats, for which Bushra Bibi was shifted from her Bani Gala residence where she is serving her sentences in two cases – Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

Meanwhile, her husband has so far been convicted in three cases – cipher, Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

During the proceedings, the two accused pleaded not guilty, as the judge adjourned proceedings till March 6 while also summoning five witnesses to record their statements on next hearing.

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However, the accountability court accepted two pleas filed by the PTI founder, requesting permission for an appointment with his dentist and general physician.

Previously, the indictment had been postponed on several occasions due to the absence of Mohammad Bashir – the accountability court judge who is set to retire on March 14 and has applied for leave preparatory to retirement (LPR).

However, the law ministry last week appointed District and Sessions Judge Rana as an Accountability Court No 1 Islamabad judge to replace Bashir who went on leave on deputation for a period of three years. 

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