PTI founding member steps down as MNA

Najeeb Haroon says he has been unable to deliver to his constituency and to Karachi

​ Our Correspondent April 18, 2020
Najeeb Haroon says he has been unable to deliver to his constituency and to Karachi. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The ruling PTI suffered a major setback on Saturday when MNA Najeeb Haroon, one of the founding members of the party, tendered his resignation from the membership of parliament citing his inability to take any steps in the last 20 months for the betterment of his constituency, Karachi’s NA 256, or the overall city.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I’ve tendered my resignation from the National Assembly to PM Imran Khan,” he tweeted along with pictures of his resignation letter.

“It’s been 20 months [Since the party came to power] and have not been able to improve either my constituency nor my hometown Karachi and in good conscience cannot justify being in this position,” he added.

“Being the only MNA who does not take a salary or any perks of being an MNA [and] being one of the highest taxpayers in Pakistan, my intention has always been to give back to Karachi and to Pakistan. If I am not able to do so in my right conscience cannot justify being in my position.”

Haroon further said as the only surviving founding father of the PTI’s first executive committee, he would still be part of his beloved party till his last breath and he also strongly believed in the capable leadership of PM Imran and that he could take Pakistan to new heights.

In his resignation letter dated April 16, Haroon wrote that he “strongly” felt that he no longer enjoyed the prime minister’s confidence.

“Twenty months after taking oath as an MNA and 24 years after we formed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf under you able leadership, I very strongly feel that I have failed to enjoy your confidence/trust,” he wrote to the prime minister.

He reposed his confidence in PM Imran but added that with sadness he had been reflecting on his decision to resign as an MNA for the last eight months – after the completion of a year of the party’s time in power.

“While I have not been a burden on the national exchequer for a single rupee during the last 20 months, still my conscience guides me that I do not justify/deserve to stay in the position,” he added.

Haroon requested the prime minister to allow his status as a founding father to be kept in the party records and let him continue as a member of the PTI “for as long as I live”.

He advised PM Imran that party loyalty should be the number one criterion for assigning responsibilities and the order of competence, capacity, experience, expertise and temperament could always be altered.

The PTI founding member also urged the prime minister to hold public hearings of all individuals before assigning them public offices as that would help bring to surface “all the good and bad things about them”.

“I am very humbly suggesting more than ever before wisdom, mature advice, humility and loyalists who can gel as a team to rescue this nation of 220 million populace,” he added.

Haroon has become another addition to the list of the PTI’s founding members who are unhappy with the party’s existing policies. The party has been facing accusations of sidelining its “ideological” leaders.

In December last year, the PTI had suspended the party membership of Hamid Khan, another founding member, for “defaming” the party.

In 2018, PTI leader Fauzia Kasuri had quit the PTI accusing it of bringing corrupt people within its ranks and joined the Pak Sarzameen Party.

In 2016, Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad had left the PTI claiming that the party had lost its way and its ideology.

Wajih and the party leadership had developed differences when he recommended the cancellation of the membership of Pervez Khattak Jahangir Tareen and others for influencing the outcome of intra-party elections held in March 2013.

Another founding member, Akbar S Babar, had filed a case against his own party, alleging that nearly $3 million in illegal foreign funds were collected through two offshore companies and that money was sent through illegal ‘hundi’ channels from the Middle East to accounts of ‘PTI employees’.

In response to Haroon’s resignation, PPP leader Nafeesa Shah said the development had exposed PM Imran’s policies. “This shows that the founding members of the PTI are unhappy over the lack of governance,” she added

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