Failing to vote: Absent PTI senators get show-cause notices

Both the senators have been given seven days to clarify their positions


Danish Hussain September 26, 2017
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) served show-cause notices on Senators Nauman Wazir Khattak and Brig (retd) John Kenneth Williams on Monday for their absence from Senate when voting was held on the Election Bill, 2017.

“In violation of the party’s decision, you were absent from the Senate session on September 22 and failed to cast your vote in the Election Bill 2017 in accordance with the pertinent party position,” the separate notices issued bearing the signatures of party’s vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi read.

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Both the senators have been given seven days to clarify their positions in this regard.

Nauman Wazir Khattak, who is also PTI’s parliamentary leader in Senate, said that he had already submitted his response to the show-cause notice.

He said he thought that the Senate proceedings would be adjourned, as always, after Friday prayers.

But, he said, this did not happen that day.

Accusing government ministers of trying “to buy loyalties” of some independent senators, he said: “If I had known this would happen, I would have stayed the whole day in the Senate,” Khattak maintained.

He said that PTI was waiting for the proposed legislation to become a law so that it could be challenged in the Supreme Court.

He said the PTI would have to wait because there was no provision in the Constitution to challenge parliamentary proceedings.

Khattak said that he had already tendered an apology to the party leadership, adding that he had also sought permission of the party chief to challenge the law.

“PTI is definitely considering challenging this controversial legislation soon after it is promulgated by the President into law,” PTI’s Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.

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“It is a clear violation of the Constitution. How can a convicted person, who is already barred from becoming a member of parliament, head a political party?” Qureshi asked.

On September 22, the government managed to get the said bill passed from the opposition-dominated Upper House of Parliament because of the absence of opposition lawmakers.

The legislation allows a disqualified lawmaker to hold office of a political party thus paving the way for the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to head Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

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