Opposition party claims government has not shown any sincerity toward initiating talks.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party on Friday submitted the resignations of its 34 members in the National Assembly, according to the party’s vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The National Assembly has 342 seats.
“We have always been very clear in our aims and our first and foremost demand remains the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” said Qureshi via phone. “[Earlier this week] we deliberated on the government’s lax response to our protests during a meeting headed by [party chief] Imran Khan,” he said, “The consensus was that the government has not responded positively and has not shown any sincerity to initiate talks with the PTI.”
According to Qureshi, the party decided to resign from the National Assembly en masse to register its protest. “Dr. Arif Alvi, our representative in the National Assembly from Karachi and myself will hand over the entire party’s resignations to the speaker,” he added.
The PTI announced its intent to resign from the National Assembly, the Punjab Assembly and the Sindh Assembly on Aug. 18. It has retained its seats in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, where it is in power.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected the government’s plea to order the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek protesters to end their sit-ins outside Parliament House. According to Hamid Khan, the PTI’s legal counsel, a five-member bench led by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk ruled that the protest was related to political differences and should be resolved within the legal framework of the Constitution.