PTI lawmakers want Sheikh Rashid, Dasti to resign from NA

Source: Published in Politics on Saturday, August 30, 2014

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is demanding resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif but its own lawmakers are demanding that allies Sheikh Rashid and Jamshed Dasti resign from the National Assembly in solidarity with them.

They feel resentful that though outwardly the AML President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed is with the PTI in its campaign, inwardly he is holding on to his assembly seat.

A senior leader of the PTI told Dawn that his chairman asked the party lawmakers to present their resignation but failed to convince Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who is close to party chairman, into quitting the NA seat.

He said the independent Jamshed Dasti, who recently announced to join the PTI, also did not bid farewell to the assembly. He said the party leaders said the resignation campaign would pressure the government into accepting their demands.

“They are more interested in playing to the gallery rather than giving their unconditional support to the party,” he said.

He said if all the allies of PTI presented their resignation en masse it would escalate pressure on the government. However, he said that the threatening tone of the party chairman was only for the party legislators but not for its allies.

In Punjab, he said out of total 30 MPAs, 28 submitted their resignation. The two MPAs, Nighat Bhatti from Pindi Battian and Jahanzeb Kichi, had not submitted their resignation as yet.

In the National Assembly, the speaker received 31 resignations of the PTI members of the National Assembly. However, three MNAs had not submitted their resignations despite a warning by their chairman to expel them from the party.

“Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was elected from NA-55 with the support of PTI as all the PTI workers had run his election campaign,” he said.

When contacted, the PTI MPA from PP-13 (Rawalpindi) and District President Arif Abbasi said that all the PTI members of the national and provincial assemblies had submitted their resignations to the party chairman without any hesitation.

However, he admitted that there was some resentment as Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had not submitted his resignation from the National Assembly. He said it the move of the party not to ask its allies to give resignation was politically motivated.“Sheikh Rashid feared that the government would accept his resignation without any delay,” he said while quoting Sheikh Rashid.

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Written by Aamir Yasin

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