Another tranche of 35 PTI MPs’ resignations accepted

-NA Speaker says resignations accepted in accordance with Article 64 of Constitution 
-Seventy PTI resignations have been accepted this week
-PTI calls govt’s move ‘illegal and immoral’

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday de-notified 35 more PTI MNAs after their resigna-tions were accepted by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Earlier in the day, Ashraf accepted the resignations three days after making a similar move with 34 PTI lawmakers. The PTI had resigned en masse from the lower house of parliament following the ouster of PTI chief Imran Khan in April last year.
Subsequently, NA speaker Ashraf accepted only 11 of the resignations, stating that the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification.
After stalling the process for eight months, Ashraf on Tuesday, accepted the resignations of 34 more PTI MNAs and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid as the party hinted it would “test” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with a confidence vote.
Meanwhile speaking to the media outside the Parliament House, senior PTI leaders Asad Qaiser, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and others claimed that the speaker reneged on his past stance by accepting the resignations of a further 35 lawmakers of the party.
They reiterated their demand for fresh elections in the country. Condemning the government’s move, Qaiser ques-tioned whether the speaker ensured the implementation of the Supreme Court orders regarding the resignations tendered by PTI legislators.
Qaiser said the party lawmakers wanted to visit the speaker in person to submit and verify their resignations. “How-ever, we were not provided with the chance. What the speaker has done is immoral and illegal.”
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan was facing an economic and political crisis because of “in-competent rulers imposed on us”. He said the sitting government just represents 36 per cent of the country, adding that decisions taken in “closed-door meetings” had thrown Pakistan into the current crisis.
“All of our MNAs are outside the National Assembly and we want our resignations accepted.” He reiterated his party’s demand for early elections, saying the nation would not forgive institutions if remedial measures were not taken im-mediately.
Former foreign minister Qureshi called out the government for what he said was ignoring the plight of the people, al-leging it would try to hold on to power until all [graft] cases against their leaders were quashed.
He demanded the speaker accept all remaining resignations to end the crisis. Qureshi said elections were the only way out of the prevailing situation. Separately, the speaker had on Thursday put off the assembly session, scheduled to be held yesterday (Friday), for a week without giving a reason.