Motions to unseat PTI MPs put off
Islamabad - Qureshi tells National Assembly PTI wants to play positive role and has accepted judicial panel's report
By Afzal Khan
Published: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 12:00 AM
Last updated: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 8:51 AM
The National Assembly Speaker, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, deferred on Tuesday for next week two resolutions moved by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) to unseat Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) parliamentarians.
Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah expressed his support to the advice of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to postpone voting over the issue and let him and Dar amicably resolve the matter outside the House.
"The government is acting positively on the issue and wants to resolve it with a positive mindset," Dar told the parliamentarians.
During the assembly session, the finance minister presented the agreement between the PTI and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on the constitution of the judicial inquiry commission to probe alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections.
Dar also presented the judicial commission's report before Parliament for discussion.
However, some parliamentarians including a few ruling PML-N members were in no mood to spare the PTI lawmakers of harsh criticism and demanded that the PTI lawmakers be unseated immediately.
PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he would like the resolution to be put for voting. "We would like to know if you want us in or be voted out," Qureshi said.
MQM lawmakers Asif Hasnain, Kunwar Naveed Jamil and Rashid Godail said this is not a petty issue and should be resolved according to the law and constitution.
However, lawmakers Jamshed Dasti and Sahibzada Tariqullah urged the JUI-F and MQM to withdraw their resolutions for the sake of democracy. Further, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai suggested that action should also be taken against the MQM over their support to dharna (sit-in).
"The MQM should apologise for its support to dharna participants," he demanded.
Media reports quoted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as rejecting the move to oust the PTI from the assemblies and expressed apprehension that such a move would have dangerous implications. It may push the PTI to again take to streets and create political and economic instability, he reportedly said while addressing a meeting of the PML-N lawmakers here on Monday evening. The majority of the lawmakers had favoured the anti-PTI resolution.
The PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said demands were made that PTI lawmakers should come to Parliament and play their role, and they now want to play a positive role as their party had already accepted the decision of the judicial commission.
Presenting the agreement between the PML-N and the PTI for the formation of the inquiry commission, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Imran's party was not abiding by its commitment. "If the elections are found to be transparent and fair, then the PTI will take back all its allegations of rigging," he said reading out from the agreement.
He added that for the first time in history, an elected government agreed to its own scrutiny. "This has not received acknowledgement from the PTI. We urge him [Imran] to shun confrontation and come to common terms."
"It was our considered party policy that if the decision came against us, we will have to go for re-elections," Dar said. "Strangely, they (PTI) seek PM's resignation rather than appreciating his humbleness. It is regrettable."
Incensed by Dar's remarks, PTI's Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the inquiry commission had in fact vindicated PTI's stance by pointing out flaws in the electoral system. "We will reply (to the government's harsh tone) with an appropriate response," he added.
"Acceptance of the report by the PTI is a step forward. We abandoned the path of agitation and are again in the House with a futuristic approach," he added.