ISLAMABAD: Just after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan confirmed that his party lawmakers have submitted their resignations to him, an internal debate is on within the party that what forced Imran to make a claim which according to the party members is not true.
On Tuesday, after a Central Executive Committee meeting of the party in the capital, the PTI chairman had confirmed that lawmakers of his party have submitted their resignations to him and that he would make a final decision in this regard after due consultation.
The party leadership has been consulting on whether to step down en masse, as some within the ranks fear it would rather be counterproductive in view of the ongoing campaign against the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over alleged corruption.
However, not even a single elected PTI representative has handed over his resignation to Imran Khan as confirmed by several PTI members of the parliament and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly to The Express Tribune.
Some of the PTI lawmakers also said that the very issue of their resignation was not even a part of the agenda of the CEC meeting.
“The issue was discussed for less than a minute and once the formal proceedings of the CEC meeting concluded and as per a routine practice, Imran Khan told the committee members to ask questions if they have any,” a senior parliamentarian who attended the meeting told The Express Tribune on a condition of anonymity.
He added, “It started when a K-P Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, after the meeting offered his resignation to Imran Khan which he had brought along with him. To that, Imran asked Gandapur that he will let him and others know when and if he needed resignations.” This was the only discussion, he added, that happened about the resigning.
Soon the meeting concluded and Imran Khan appeared before the media and claimed that he has resignations of the PTI members.
The Express Tribune spoke to a number of PTI MNAs, senators and MPAs and all of them rejected the impression that they submitted their resignations to the party chairman. A majority of them also added they would hand their resignations over to party leadership whenever he would ask for it.
On January 17, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Imran Khan had said that a “debate over resignation from the parliament is on within the party but a final decision would be taken following discussion.”
“An overwhelming majority of the PTI lawmakers are against tendering resignations from the parliament. It will be a futile exercise that will serve no purpose,” a senior PTI lawmaker said.
He continued that there were some voices within the party who support the move but they were in a minority and not part of the parliament.
The resignation debate by the PTI started when the Awami Muslim League (AML) Chief Sheikh Rashid announced his resignation from the National Assembly during a multi-party opposition gathering in Lahore against the ruling PML-N recently. Rashid later also forced the PTI chairman to take a similar decision, but the senior PTI leadership was against any such move.
“The PTI has no plan to resign en masse. At least not in the near future,” a senior leader said adding that “we should resign if all the provincial assemblies resign and the government falls, otherwise it makes no sense.”