Standoff persists in K-P over PA session

Governor calls sitting; govt seeks legal opinion

Our Correspondent March 22, 2024


An ongoing tussle between Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Governor Haji Ghulam Ali and Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has deepened over convening the provincial assembly session.

Official sources told The Express Tribune that the governor had mentioned that Articles 109, 105 and 48 of the Constitution in his notification but the provincial government sought legal opinion from experts on the matter.

The tussle started between the two sides over the issue of administrating oath to the newly-announced female assembly members (MPAs) on reserved seats. “The Law Department has been asked to give its opinion over the matter as soon as possible,” said an official.

According to the official, the department had been directed to give its opinion over the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) March 4 notification and the oath-taking of the females and minorities’ members.


On Wednesday Governor Haji Ghulam Ali called the provincial assembly session, using his special powers after the speaker declined to administer oath to the newly-notified women MPAs on reserved seats. He directed the assembly secretary to call the session on 3pm Friday.

This is the first time that Governor Ghulam Ali has used his special powers to call the assembly session. In the routine, a summery is sent to the governor by the provincial Law Department for convening of the session. There is also a possibility the governor can call the session if he feels that chief minister should take the vote of confidence.

In his notification, Governor Ghulam Ali took the stance that the assembly session was being called on the request of opposition leader Dr Ehabadullah to enable the newly-named MPAs on the reserved seats to take oath.

“The opposition leader has recommended that the session of the assembly should be called so that MPAs on reserved seats could take oath. He said that the provincial government has decided not to call the session so that the newly notified minorities and women MPAs could not take oath,” the notification said.

“He requested the governor to take notice of the situation and call the session of the assembly so that these MPAs could take oath of their office,” it added.

The notification sent by the Governor Secretariat to the Provincial Assembly Secretary, using his special constitutional powers under Article 109, called the assembly session on March 22, (today). In the assembly session oath would be administered to females and minorities MPAs.

Political observers consider it yet another stand-off between the PTI government in the K-P and federal government.

Earlier, K-P Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur stayed away from the official functions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during PM’s visit to Peshawar on March 3, indicating a cold war between the two sides, which is definitely not a good sign for the province. Gandapur also stayed away from the oath-taking ceremony of the prime minister.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2024.


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