Resignation faux pas

The resignations of PTI legislators are once again under the spotlight

September 13, 2022

A Pandora’s Box is in the making. The resignations of PTI legislators are once again under the spotlight. The Islamabad High Court, in its wisdom, on Monday pronounced PTI lawmaker Abdul Shakoor Shad’s resignation as null and void, and restored his National Assembly membership. This decision comes on the heels of an ordeal as the incumbent had pleaded that he had only offered to resign as a mark of solidarity with his party leader, and did not submit a formal handwritten renunciation. Whereas, the party has a different tale to tell and has even issued him a show-cause notice for “fabricating the reality”.

The Capital’s high court exception to the resignation has surprised all and sundry. By law, the resignation should be handwritten, signed and dated; and this is where the catch-22 situation rests. Many of the tendered notes are typed, and in a singular grammar and text. This was the reason the Speaker National Assembly sought personal declarations to sign them off. The fact that none of the PTI members appeared in person is a sordid story that is now entailing legal consequences. Shad, who returned to the parliament by defeating PPP Chairman Bilawal Zardari, is in rough seas. He is accused by his party of misleading the court, as he allegedly went back and lied on his handwritten resignation. If he is found to be in perjury, he will be under the axe by law.

This new twist has impacted a larger picture. The Chief Justice while suspending the notification of the National Assembly, declaring his seat vacant and the ECP notification de-notifying him, has issued notices to them seeking a reply within two weeks. This has upset the cart of bye-polls, and posed questions on the acumen of Speaker and Election Commission. Likewise, the shadow is cast on the stand-down note from all 123 legislators of PTI, and it seems a possibility that their membership of parliament shall stand restored. This would mean rolling back the entire drama enacted post no-confidence motion. It’s a faux pas and the dye is yet to be cast.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2022.

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