PTI lawmaker Abdul Shakoor Shad has landed in hot waters as his party as well as his opponents have contradicted his stance taken before the capital’s high court that his resignation from the National Assembly seat was not handwritten, signed and dated.
Shad, who had made history in the 2018 general elections by defeating PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from Lyari, recently informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that his resignation from the National Assembly after the execution of a no-confidence motion against ex-premier Imran Khan was not handwritten, signed and dated and the one given was typed by a computer operator of the party’s head office and signed by 123 members.
However, PTI through a show-cause notice has alleged that his resignation was not only handwritten but signed and dated suggesting that he lied or tried to mislead IHC.
Meanwhile, PPP leader Nabil Gabol has also expressed doubts.
“Shocked at IHC‘s decision to nullify Shakoor Shad’s resignation,” Gabol tweeted and attached copies of Shad’s handwritten resignation and nomination papers for the upcoming NA-246 by-elections.
PTI’s show cause notice also stated that Shad “submitted a handwritten resignation letter and even posted on your [his] personal Twitter account.”
PTI has not only suspended his party membership but directed him to reply to the notice in a week over his alleged “misconduct”.
Shad neither denied nor owned the handwritten resignation but told The Express Tribune that “it is a proof of his sincerity to the party”, saying he would speak more about it when his case was over, adding that his lawyer has advised him not to discuss the case with the media until a decision comes in the case.
In response to the question about the claims of the party and opponents that he was hiding the fact that his resignation was handwritten, signed and dated Shad said “let them say whatever they want to say”.
Also read: IHC terms PTI MNAs resignations ‘suspicious’
He said the record was present in the speaker’s office, which can’t be modified. In addition, he added, he doesn’t have a Twitter account and several accounts were being run in his name.
The decision to “symbolically” resign from the National Assembly has apparently resulted in embarrassment for the PTI legislator as he is now taking a stance that he never willingly resigned and the resignation submitted to the assembly was typed by the computer operator of PTI.
Before the court, the PTI lawmaker through his counsel maintained that he signed the resignation only to express solidarity with former prime minister Imran Khan and for political purposes.
IHC’s Chief Justice Athar Minallah while suspending the notification of the National Assembly declaring his seat vacant and the ECP notification de-notifying him, among others, has issued notices to them seeking a reply within two weeks.
During the hearing, the chief Justice termed the resignations of 123 PTI legislators “suspicious” and directed the lawmakers to start attending NA sessions when it emerged that the resignation was accepted without him personally appearing before the NA speaker for confirming the genuineness of the same.
In June, NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf asked PTI legislators to appear before him for the verification of the resignations before the budget session. However, none of the PTI lawmakers appeared before him for verifying the resignations.
Subsequently, the NA speaker without elaborating any reason accepted the resignations of only 11 MNAs, including two on reserve seats, who were later de-notified by ECP.
After de-notifying, ECP announced by-elections in the nine constituencies that fell vacant but later announced the postponement of by-polls in the wake of flash floods causing massive destruction and not having security assurances from the law enforcement agencies.
The electoral watchdog said that only the polling date has been postponed and the rest of the process would continue.
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