Forty-four lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have decided to withdraw their resignations from the National Assembly announced PTI General Secretary Asad Umar on Monday.
In a tweet, Umar said that the decision was made on the direction of party chief Imran Khan after the NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf refused to accept all the resignations together and informed that an email in this regard has been sent to the speaker.
کیونکہ سپیکر ابھی تک تمام اسمبلی ارکان کے استعفے قبول نہیں کر رہے، اس لئے پارٹی چیئرمین کی ہدایات کے مطابق 44 ارکان اسمبلی نے اپنے استعفے واپس لینے کا فیصلہ سپیکر قومی اسمبلی کو ای میل کر دیا ہے. اگلا قدم اپوزیشن لیڈر کی نامزدگی ہو گی. pic.twitter.com/qx86MCyTBK
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) January 23, 2023
He further stated that the former ruling party’s next move would be to nominate a leader of the opposition in the lower house.
Members of the PTI also filed a request before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), informing the Commission of the decision to withdraw their resignations. They added that the NA speaker and the National Assembly Secretariat were informed about the move.
The PTI members requested that they not be denotified if the speaker accepted their resignation.
The electoral watchdog already de-notified several PTI MNAs after their resignations were accepted three days after the NA speaker accepted the same number of lawmakers.
It is pertinent to note that thus far, Ashraf has accepted 80 PTI resignations with 50 still pending.
Read PTI MNAs to confirm resignations 'individually'
It is being reckoned that the NA speaker’s volte-face could also be designed to ensure the PTI does not have a say in the process of forming the caretaker government for the coming general elections.
The piecemeal acceptance of resignations had come after the former ruling party had hinted at its possible return to the parliament in a bid to reclaim key slots and turn the tables on the ruling coalition.
However, the PTI remained indecisive about knocking at the Supreme Court’s doors to challenge the acceptance of en masse resignations of its lawmakers by the speaker.
It was learned that PTI leadership was carefully calculating its next step as it was conscious of the fact that such a move might come at the risk of undermining its popular narrative of opting out of the parliament in protest to mount pressure against the Pakistan Democratic Movement.