Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) central leadership has decided to obtain resignations from the party’s members of the National Assembly before taking them from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) MPAs, it was learnt.
A source within the party told The Express Tribune on Friday that PTI’s MNAs and MPAs met the party’s central leadership at a meeting held in the provincial capital recently.
He added it was decided that the party would obtain resignations from NA members first before asking provincial assembly members.
Requesting anonymity, the insider said, “The central leadership is afraid that K-P MPAs will put up a resistance when asked to step down. Thus, the decision was made that first MNAs will be asked to submit resignations and then the provincial assembly members will be asked to do the same.”
“The possibility of deterrence cannot be ruled out. There are party members who may resist the decision,” he added.
According to the insider, the leadership was not worried about old members but about those who have recently joined.
“The new members are likely to create problems if the assembly is dissolved which is why the party is seeking resignations beforehand,” he said.
A member of the provincial assembly confirmed the party’s decision. He, however, said, “Even though PTI is seeking resignations from lawmakers, I assure you the provincial assembly will never be dissolved.”
“A few days ago, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and other senior party leaders met [PTI] Chairman Imran Khan and informed him that the party will not be able to form a government again once the assembly is dissolved,” explained the MPA.
The party’s central office could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
On Thursday, PTI chief Imran Khan said he was willing to call off the August 14th long march in Islamabad if the Supreme Court initiates a probe into alleged rigging in four constituencies during the May 2013 elections.
“If a three-member judicial commission under Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk investigates the electoral fraud and announces the result to the nation within two weeks, we will call off the long march,” Khan said.
Since the party’s central leadership has decided to dissolve the K-P Assembly if their demands are not met by the federal government, the resignations are likely to be used as an alternative leverage if any PTI legislator decides to go against the party’s decision.
A PTI member said legislators can move court against the possible dissolution of the provincial assembly and because of this the party will attempt to obtain their resignations first.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2014.
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