ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers on Monday submitted en-masse resignations in the National Assembly as the party chairman Imran Khan has refused to be a part of election of Shehbaz Sharif as Prime Minister, saying he won’t give legitimacy to the ‘corruption king’.
The decision was made during the PTI’s parliamentary party meeting held on Sunday.
“We will not sit in this Assembly under any circumstances where a person wanted by FIA in corruption charges and money laundering,” Khan said, adding that PTI will not sit in the Assembly with the “people who have robbed Pakistan” and who have been “imported by foreign forces”.
Almost all the MNAs including Hammad Azhar, Farrukh Habib, Shehryar Afridi, Ali Zaidi, Murad Saeed, Shireen Mazari, Shafqat Mahmood, Ali Amin Gandapur, Ali Mohammad Khan and others have resigned.
“A man facing two separate corruption charges of Rs16 billion and Rs8 billion being selected or elected the prime minister is the biggest disrespect to the country,” Khan told the media after chairing a meeting of the PTI parliamentary committee. “We are resigning.”
The move was being anticipated since early Sunday when Chaudhry said party MPs will tender their resignations if the party’s reservations on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif’s candidature as the prime minister are not addressed.
تحریک انصاف نے اسمبلیوں سے مستعفیٰ ہونے کا فیصلہ کیا ہے، کل وزیر اعظم کے انتخاب کے بعد یہ عمل قومی اسمبلی سے شروع کیا جائیگا
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) April 10, 2022
The decision was taken in a meeting of the parliamentary party, presided over by chairman Khan Monday, to chalk out the future strategy.
Chaudhry said the committee recommended to Khan the party should resign from the assemblies starting with the National Assembly.
Khan lost the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly session conducted in the early hours of Sunday.
The unified opposition nominated Sharif, who is also serving as the leader of the opposition, to lead the country. Besides him, former foreign minister and PTI vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi has also submitted papers as a candidate for the top office.
Shortly after Khan’s announcement, several PTI MPs started sharing their resignations on social media. Presented as a form letter, the resignations are identical and have blank spaces for individual MPs to submit their relevant information.
“I, Shireen Mazari, wife of Tabish Hazir, resident of Rajanpur district, constituency [NA-] 288, am a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from the Parliamentary Party of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,” reads the resignation of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari.
“I hereby tender my resignation as Member National Assembly of Pakistan and hereby request you to accept my resignation as MNA,” it continues.
“May Allah protect and support Honorable Mr. Imran Khan in his struggle for Pakistan,” it added.
While most resignations followed the exact same pattern with little deviation, Mazari had pencilled in an addendum to her notice: “Cannot be a party to a House where a head of House is a criminal PM.”
A number of PTI MPs including Hammad Azhar, Murad Saeed, Ali Haider Zaidi, and Shafqat Mahmood shared their resignations on Twitter too.