PTI’s Qureshi takes soft-line after Fawad threatens to withdraw lawmakers

| Qureshi says opinion of lawmakers standing by Imran Khan ‘in these tough times will be sought’ | Party’s core committee decided that all PTI members should resign from assemblies: Fawad


ISLAMABAD/LAHORE   –   Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Sunday his party was yet to decide on resigning from the National Assembly.

“The final decision has not been taken yet though this issue was in discussion,” Qureshi who is also PTI’s candidate against Shehbaz Sharif in the race for the premiership told a private news channel late Sunday.

PTI Chief Imran Khan has decided to call a meeting of the party’s parliamentary committee to be held on Monday (today) at 12:00pm. “The opinion of those (lawmakers) who are standing by him in these tough times will be sought. A final decision will be taken after that meeting,” Qureshi clarified.

Qureshi’s statement comes just a few hours after party leader Fawad Chaudhry threatened that PTI MNAs would tender their resignations en masse on Monday.

Today, the party’s core committee had a meeting under Imran Khan’s chairmanship, Qureshi said. He said that apart from finalising his name as PTI’s candidate for prime minister’s election opposite Shehbaz Sharif, it was also discussed if the party should remain in the National Assembly in the current circumstances.

Following the removal of former prime minister Imran Khan from the office through a no-confidence motion, senior PTI leader and former minister for information and broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry announced that his party members would resign from the National Assembly tomorrow (Monday) if the nomination of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif is accepted.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday alongside former energy minister Hammad Azhar and former state minister for information Farrukh Habib, Fawad said that PTI chief Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the party’s core committee in Bani Gala where he reiterated that his ouster was part of a regime-change operation back by foreign powers.

“When decisions related to a country’s internal affairs are made from outside, it’s the biggest sign of its slavery.” The ex-information minister went on to say that his party had sent all declassified documents to the Speaker of the NA as well as the Chief Justice of Pakistan. He said that the PTI nominated former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as the candidate for the prime minister’s slot.

“We have chosen Qureshi for the prime minister’s slot because firstly, we want to challenge Shehbaz Sharif’s nomination because he has a corruption case of Rs16 billion registered against him,” Fawad said and expressed his regret and said it would be unfortunate to impose a “foreign, selected, and imported government and on top of that, make Shehbaz Sharif the head of the government.

He informed journalists that during the meeting, the party’s core committee said that all PTI members should resign from the assemblies.

“We will start off by resigning from the National Assembly,” he said. “And if Shehbaz Sharif’s nomination papers are accepted, then we will tender our resignations tomorrow.”

Shortly afterwards, however, the NA Secretariat rejected PTI’s objections and went ahead to accept Shehbaz’s nomination. He further said that a parliamentary party meeting has also been called tonight, adding that most of the PTI members from the assemblies had already submitted their resignation to the party chairman.

Fawad said that all PTI supporters will continue their protests against the alleged foreign conspiracy against Imran Khan. He went on to say that within the next few months, the party will start gearing up for the new elections.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has decided to launch massive protests against foreign conspiracy to overthrow the Imran Khan’s government.

The decision was taken at the core committee of PTI with chairman Imran Khan in the chair at his Bani Gala residence on Sunday.

Credible sources told The Nation that the post no-confidence motion situation was discussed in the meeting.

However, there were differences of opinion within the party leadership on the point whether all MPs should submit their resignations from National Assembly or otherwise.

One group within the core committee believed that PTI should not give space to the new government in the National Assembly, and if such a decision is taken, it would be easier for the government to run the proceedings of the House in accordance with their agenda and wishes.

Other group believed that the party MPs should resign from their National Assembly seats.

The meeting also decided that former prime minister Imran Khan would participate in the National Assembly session on Monday, and would initiate his speech against the corruption of Shehbaz Sharif and others.

Speaking in the core committee meeting, Imran Khan said, he left the office of the prime minister without making a compromise on core principles of sovereignty of Pakistan and independent foreign policy.

He said that he has evidence of US involvement in a conspiracy in collaboration with PML-N, PPP and JUI (F) to topple his government and he would expose this conspiracy at all international forums without having any fear. Khan said his party would knock at the door of the apex court too on the matter.

Meanwhile, the PTI parliamentary party meeting would be held at the committee room of the Parliament House with Imran Khan in the chair,  ahead of the NA session which is scheduled to elect the new leader of the House. The meeting would evolve strategy to create maximum impact of PTI against Shehbaz Sharif in the House.

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