• PML-N President Qureshi of PTI files nomination papers • 52 cabinet members denoted
ISLAMABAD: As the National Assembly meets today (Monday) to elect the prime minister after Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistani Vice-President Tehreek-i-Insaf Shah Mahmood Qureshi deposed their candidacy papers on Sunday, the PTI appears divided over its former decision of mass resignations by its lawmakers.
As the cabinet division de-notified 52 federal cabinet members – 25 federal ministers, four ministers of state, four PM advisers and 19 special assistants to the PM – after the Common Opposition’s historic vote of no confidence in the ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan, Mr Sharif, with a good chance of rising to the top, said the new cabinet would only be formed after consultation with all allies.
While the central committee of the PTI remained undecided at a meeting chaired by Mr Khan on Sunday on whether or not to opt for mass resignations of MPs, the party chairman called the party’s parliamentary meeting at the Parliament at noon on Monday to make a final decision. . Whether Mr. Qureshi stands for election as Prime Minister or resigns along with other PTI MPs and allies depends on the outcome of the PTI parliamentary meeting.
However, the PTI decided to give the incoming government a hard time with street demonstrations if the PML-N won the contest in parliament for which voting would start at 2 p.m.
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On the other hand, Mr. Sharif met with the leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and discussed the political situation. While all parties kept their cards close to their chests on the composition of the new cabinet, sources said PPP leader Naveed Qamar was the strongest contender for National Assembly speaker, the leaders of the PML-N, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Rana Sanaullah, could obtain the portfolios of the ministries of information and interior respectively.
Earlier in the day, the PML-N and the PTI came face to face again when Mr. Sharif and Mr. Qureshi arrived at Parliament in separate groups made up of senior leaders from both parties and submitted their candidacies to the secretary. of the National Assembly.
On this occasion, Mr. Qureshi and Babar Awan were involved in an altercation with PML-N leaders Zahid Hamid and Atta Tarar.
Senior PTI leaders have objected to Mr. Sharif, saying that he was running for office on the day of his scheduled indictment in a money laundering case. They were of the opinion that he did not deserve to be the new Prime Minister because of his “involvement” in corruption cases.
Responding to these allegations, Mr. Tarar said that since Mr. Sharif had not been convicted in any way, his nomination could not be rejected simply on the basis of allegations. Mr. Hamid reminded the leaders of the PTI that the nomination could only be rejected for the reasons mentioned in the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the National Assembly-2007 under which the candidate for the office of Prime minister must be a Muslim, deputy and the signature of the candidate and his nominator and seconder must be authentic.
Thereupon, the NA Secretary accepted the declaration of candidacy of Mr. Sharif and Mr. Qureshi.
The NA secretariat then released the agenda for the NA session under which the election of the prime minister will take place at 2 p.m. “Election of the Prime Minister in accordance with Article 91 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, read together with Article 32 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the National Assembly, 2007,” reads the agenda. .
PTI split over resignations
Meanwhile, an insider said Dawn that the leaders of the PTI were divided on the question of registrations because some of them believed that all MPs of the party and its allies should resign immediately to put the next government in a difficult situation, while others were of the opinion that the PTI and its allies should take the opposition benches to resist any attempt to change the electoral laws, especially with regard to the use of electronic voting machines and the right to vote of overseas Pakistanis, for the next general election.
However, disgruntled PTI leader Raja Riaz said 22 dissidents would not quit if the PTI opted out. It is believed that if they vote against Mr Qureshi they could be disqualified under Article 63 of the Constitution.
A senior PPP leader said Dawn that the dissidents of the PTI were carefully monitoring the situation and seeking legal advice on the decision they would take. There was, however, a difference between abstaining from voting and being absent on voting day. There were precedents where the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had pardoned dissenting MPs who had not attended the voting session in the past, he said, citing the example of the former MP from the PTI, Ayesha Gulalai.
Shehbaz meets with PPP and JUI-F leaders
In further developments, Mr. Sharif called former President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and discussed the changing political scenario.
The PML-N chairman then also called Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman and expressed his gratitude for his support.
During his visit to Zardari House, Mr. Sharif thanked ex-President Zardari and the PPP chairman for their efforts to ensure the success of the no-confidence motion. They are committed to working together on all matters of public interest.
Speaking to the media, Sharif wished for peace in the region and peaceful relations with neighboring India.
When asked if the records of his older brother and self-exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sahrif would be taken down, he replied that his [Nawaz] business would be handled according to law.
Mr. Sharif was accompanied by Saad Rafique, Ayaz Sadiq and Ms. Aurangzeb, while PPP leaders Faisal Karim Kundi and Shazia Atta Marri were also present on the occasion.
Earlier, speaking on the floor of the House after a vote of no confidence in Mr Khan passed, the PPP chairman said: ‘Democracy is the best revenge.
April 10 had its own significance, he said, explaining that on that date the Constitution was formed in 1973, former prime minister and PPP chairman Benazir Bhutto had returned in 1987 to challenge the dictatorship of General Zia and in 2022 the person who was declared “selected” by the opposition and who proved to be an “undemocratic burden” for the country saw the end of his reign as part of a process constitutional.
Posted in Dawn, April 11, 2022