Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has decided to postpone the dissolution of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan announced on Thursday, adding that the date will be decided once matters in the Punjab Assembly are settled.
Announcing his much-awaited final date to dissolve the two provincial assemblies where his party is at the helm of affairs, PTI chief Imran Khan earlier revealed that the party would dissolve assemblies in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on December 23 (Friday), staking his hard-earned political ground on a bid to trigger early elections.
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However, Punjab has since descended into turmoil after a delegation of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and PML-N lawmakers submitted a no-confidence motion against CM Pervaiz Elahi in a bid to forestall the dissolution of the provincial assembly.
Moreover, the resolution was immediately followed by an order from the Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman, directing the chief minister to seek a vote of confidence from the assembly on December 21 (yesterday) — dealing a blow to the PTI’s plans to disband the legislature on Friday.
On Monday, Governor Rehman directed Chief Minister Elahi to seek a vote of confidence on December 21.
The governor’s direction came after the opposition parties – Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – filed a no-confidence motion against Elahi in a bid to forestall the dissolution of the assembly.
However, Speaker Sibtain on Tuesday adjourned the sitting until Friday, instead of Wednesday as directed by the governor. The speaker said that the governor’s letter, asking the chief minister to seek a vote of confidence was against the assembly rules, as well as the Constitution.
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“The provincial assembly of Punjab is already in session having been summoned by the speaker on a requisition by the members of the assembly on October 23 …” the speaker’s ruling said. “Until and unless the current session is prorogued, the governor cannot summon any fresh session.”
The speaker also cited a Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling in the Manzoor Wattoo case, suggesting that there was a minimum limit of 10 days, which must be provided to the chief minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the assembly.
Later, while responding to the ruling, the governor rejected the speaker's assertion.
With the future of Punjab hanging in the balance, CM Mahmood Khan told the media on Thursday that PTI chief Imran Khan will "decide on the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly".
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“Right now, consultation on the matter of the Punjab Assembly is underway. The decision regarding the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will be taken after these discussions,” he explained.
Earlier today, the PTI had called for a meeting of its parliamentary party in Punjab during which the party's 177 MPAs will ratify the decisions taken by Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and party chief Imran Khan.
Reiterating his previous stance, the CM added that "whenever Imran Khan tells us to dissolve the K-P Assembly, we will comply".
However, he added that "up until now, Imran has not given me any directions on the dissolution. I will contact Imran today but first a decision regarding the Punjab Assembly will be taken”.