PESHAWAR - As an obvious revolt against their own government, 14 lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday formally submitted their resignations to the deputy speaker who is also a part of the group.

In view of this development, the opposition parties asked Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to show his majority in the house. Calling themselves a group of like-minded and not a forward bloc, the annoyed PTI legislators took this extreme step after failure of the party’s top brass to address their grievances against the PTI-led coalition government in the militancy-shattered Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, an insider told this scribe.

The dissidents believe their number would go up in case their issues are not resolved timely by the provincial government and the PTI central leadership, he said, adding most of their reservations were over newly inducted ministers, giving less importance to the party’s manifesto and agenda. “Besides, we cannot tolerate interference in the affairs of the provincial government by unauthorised persons,” he explained.

Ahead of their meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the angry legislatures submitted their resignations to Deputy Speaker Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi. Talking to media persons on Friday, PTI MPA Javed Nasim confirmed that 14 members of the party had formally submitted their resignations, saying they had no reservations against the party, but would not tolerate any discrimination.

The names of the PTI lawmakers who have tendered their resignations are Deputy Speaker Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi, Javed Nasim, Zahid Durrani, Arbab Jehandad Khan, Qurban Ali, Mehmood Khan, Gul Sahib Khattak, Dr Amjad, Idrees Khan, Shah Muhammad, Shah Faisal, Ziaullah Bangash, Sardar Idrees and Azizullah.

In view of the situation, the PTI provincial leadership tried to arrange a meeting between Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and the disgruntled MPAs, but they refused to meet the CM and said they would meet only Imran Khan.

On Friday, 14 dissident legislators met Imran Khan in Islamabad and apprised him of their reservations and grievances against the provincial government and certain leaders of the party. Reportedly, Imran assured his MPAs of addressing their reservations. Talking to them, he said corruption would neither be tolerated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa nor in PTI.

Sensing the situation, ANP’s parliamentary leader in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Sardar Hussain Babak, said the opposition parties would ask Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to prove his majority in the house after more than 14 lawmakers of his party had formed a separate group.

At present, in the house of 124, PTI has the support of only 51 legislators. In case, the meeting between 14 disgruntled MPAs with Imran Khan produces no results, it will be a setback to the provincial government, paving the way for fresh elections in the province.

In his brief chat with media people, Imran Khan made it clear that his party’s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would like to dissolve the provincial assembly instead of being blackmailed by its MPAs.

He added they would conduct a re-election in the province, but would not surrender to forward bloc’s blackmailing. Imran Khan has time and again asserted in the past that if his government is destabilised, he will go for re-elections in the province.