References against PTI rebels may be rendered ineffective

Opposition had kept dissidents away from no-trust voting process to shield them from any adverse action

Our Correspondent April 11, 2022
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser


The references filed by the PTI against 20 of its dissident members to former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser seeking their de-seating under Article 63-A for joining the opposition to support their no-trust motion against ex-premier Imran Khan are likely to be rendered “ineffective” now that the resolution has succeeded without their involvement.

The united opposition managed to receive the support of 174 parliamentarians that were enough to remove the prime minister and decided to keep the dissident PTI lawmakers away from the voting to prevent their party from taking any adverse against them.

Article 63-A of the Constitution suggests disqualification of an MNA on grounds of defection for not obeying the parliamentary party's directions in the election of the prime minister, chief minister or vote of confidence or no confidence against them.

Former deputy attorney general Raja Khalid Mehmood, who had resigned in the wake of NA deputy speaker dismissing the opposition’s no-confidence motion on April 3, said Article 63-A did not apply to the dissident members of the party.

“Having differences with the party’s policies does not fall under the defection clause. However, it would have had they voted against the former premier, but they didn’t do that,” he added.

The references were sent by the former prime minister and handed over to the ex-speaker by the party’s chief whip in the House, Amir Dogar.

READ PTI protests against ‘foreign conspiracy’ against Imran Khan

The references read that the dissidents were exposed via "large-scale broadcast and videos" to have left the PTI, joined the opposition for the no-trust motion against the premier and no denials or rebuttals were issued to the acts of defection.

They added that show-cause notices were sent to the dissidents to clarify why declarations to de-seat them from the NA should not be issued against them but they had failed to respond to them or clarify their position.

They further stated that the members had failed to adhere to their "sacred duty" and had deceived the confidence of the PTI, the voters and the public by changing their loyalties to another party.

They [the dissidents] had caused "irreparable loss to the democratic system and blatantly injured the cause and object of the PTI”, the references read.

The former speaker was requested to initiate proceedings to de-seat the members under Article 63-A as they had defected from the PTI.

According to the references, enough material was available to hold that the members had exhibited a "change of loyalty" by joining another party and willfully defied the PTI's trust and policy and violated their oath.

Last month, one of the dissidents had revealed that at least 24 of them were staying at the Sindh House in Islamabad.

Raja Riaz, a member of estranged PTI faction known as the Jahangir Tareen group, had claimed that they moved to the Sindh House due to “security concerns”.


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