Home Latest News PTI Decides to Resign from National Assembly

PTI Decides to Resign from National Assembly

by Staff Report

File photo of PTI chairman Imran Khan in the National Assembly. Courtesy National Assembly of Pakistan

Former information minister says deputy speaker will accept party’s resignations before tendering his own resignation

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday announced its MNAs will resign en masse from the National Assembly, with party chairman Imran Khan saying he will not sit in Parliament with “corrupt” politicians.

“A man facing two separate corruption charges of Rs. 16 billion and Rs. 8 billion being selected or elected the prime minister is the biggest disrespect to the country,” Khan told media after chairing a meeting of his party’s parliamentary committee. He was referring to Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) President Shahbaz Sharif. “We are resigning,” he added.

Shortly after Khan’s announcement, several PTI MNAs started sharing their resignations on social media. Presented as a form letter, the resignations are identical and have blank spaces for individual MNAs to submit their relevant information.

“I, Shireen Mazari, wife of Tabish Hazir, resident of Rajanpur district, constituency [NA-] 288, am a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from the Parliamentary Party of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,” reads the resignation of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari. “I hereby tender my resignation as Member National Assembly of Pakistan and hereby request you to accept my resignation as MNA,” it continues. “May Allah protect and support Honorable Mr. Imran Khan in his struggle for Pakistan,” it added.

While most resignations followed the exact same pattern with little deviation, Mazari had penciled in an addendum to her notice: “Cannot be a party to a House where a head of House is a criminal P.M.”

The PTI maintains that as Sharif is facing corruption charges—though he has not been convicted of anything and per law remains innocent until proven guilty—he is a “criminal.” In 2018, when Khan took oath of office, he was facing terrorism charges alongside President Arif Alvi for their party’s alleged role in the attack on PTV and Parliament during the 2014 dharna. The case was subsequently dismissed.

Speaking with media, former information minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the party had decided that it would resign prior to the elections for prime minister, adding that it would boycott the polling altogether. To a question, he said that the party would not be contesting any by-elections for the seats they vacate, adding that “we shall see” how the government can function without the PTI in Parliament.

According to sources, the PTI has decided to take its fight against the former opposition to the streets, with an intent to organize large rallies and public gatherings that “pressure” authorities to proceed toward early elections. Analysts say this is unlikely to succeed, as it is a formula that has been adopted by several opposition parties in the past to no avail. Prior to being ousted from office, Khan himself used to say that “governments cannot be brought down by dharnas and rallies.”

The sources said that several lawmakers had voiced their disagreement with the decision to resign, but had pledged to follow Khan when he told them that he would personally resign regardless of whatever they opted to do.

With the PTI’s boycott of the elections for prime minister—and intent to resign—the election of Shahabaz Sharif to the premier’s office seems all but confirmed against the PTI’s opposing candidate, Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

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