ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has denotified more Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after the NA speaker accepted their resignations, ARY News reported on Tuesday.
After the announcement of PTI MNAs’ return to the National Assembly, the federal government made a move to accept their resignations in an apparent bid to reduce the number of opposition lawmakers.
At the request of NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denotified 35 more MNAs including top PTI leaders.
The denotified PTI lawmakers include Asad Umar, Asad Qaiser, Pervez Khattak, Murad Saeed, Imran Khattak, Shehryar Afridi, Ali Amin Gandapur, Noorul Haq Qadri, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Ali Nawaz Awan, Sadaqat Ali Khan, Ghulam Sarwar, Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, Mansoor Hayat Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Sanaullah Khan, Hammad Azhar, Shafqat Mahmood, Malik Amir Dogar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Zartaj Gul, Faheem Khan, Saifur Rehman, Alamgir Khan, Ali Zaidi, Aftab Siddiqui, Ataullah Khan, Aftab Jahangir, Muhammad Aslam Khan, Najeeb Haroon, Qasim Suri and others.
Moreover, PTI MNAs on reserved seats including Aliya Hamza Malik and Kanwal Shauzab were also denotified. The election commission also denotified Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed.
— Election Commission of Pakistan (OFFICIAL) (@ECP_Pakistan) January 17, 2023
Prior to the latest move, the NA speaker put a condition to separately verify the resignations of the PTI lawmakers, however, the opposition party was urging Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to collectively approve the resignations.
In July last year, NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had accepted the resignations of 11 PTI MNAs.
Imran Khan hints at returning NA
Yesterday, Imran Khan hinted at returning to National Assembly for caretaker setup, claiming that his party was in contact with “several Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers”.
“We will test them (PML-N MNAs) first then will add them to party folds,” Imran said, adding: “If we don’t return to National Assembly then the government will form the caretaker setup in consultation with the opposition leader Raja Riaz”.
The PTI chairman further said that his party had decided to put Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to the test through “different plans”, including a confidence vote in parliament.