JUI-F, MQM refuse to withdraw motions for de-seating PTI MNAs
ISLAMABAD: As the JUI-F and MQM refused to demonstrate flexibility and vowed to go ahead with their motions seeking de-seating of PTI legislators, the PPP announced on Thursday that it would vote against if the motions were put for a vote in the National Assembly.
Earlier in the day, a government team met the MQM delegation, but the latter refused to accept the prime minister’s call for withdrawing the motion.
Leader of Opposition Khurshid Ahmed Shah said that like in the past the PPP would continue to play its role to strengthen democracy and parliamentary system and it had decided to vote in favour of the PTI in the assembly.
He also advised the PML-N to vote in favour of keeping the PTI in the house to end the ongoing political uncertainty.
When contacted, Special Assistant to the PM on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui said the PML-N did not want to see the motions put to vote because such a move could expose a division within the party.
After a meeting of the government team with MQM members, Mr Siddiqui told that at the moment both the JUI-F and MQM were not ready to withdraw their motions but expressed the hope that better sense would prevail and the issue would be resolved amicably.
Since the motions were expected to be on the assembly agenda on Tuesday, the PML-N had sufficient time to persuade the two parties to reconsider their decision, he added.
Besides Mr Siddiqui, Information Minister Pervez Rashid and Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique were members of the government team. The MQM was represented by Rashid Godail, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Kunwar Naveed Jamil and a number of other legislators.
When asked why was the government dragging the issue and not ending it by putting the motions before the house and voting against them, Mr Siddiqui said that there were two opinions within the PML-N.
He said the party wanted to see the PTI playing its role in parliament, but some PML-Q legislators would like to support the motions.
“We do not want to draw a line within the party in the assembly by putting the motions to vote.”
Mr Siddiqui said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had demonstrated large-heartedness and in the larger national interest wanted to see the PTI members playing their role in parliament despite the fact that he and the PML-N were the main target of Imran Khan’s criticism and speeches made from atop the container during the sit-in.
Khurshid Shah alleged that it was because of the government’s failure that the parties had not succeeded in developing a consensus on the issue. He said the PPP was against ousting any political party from parliament. The PTI had returned to parliament under an agreement with the government, he added.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman told reporters outside the Parliament House that so far the PML-N had failed to come up with any constitutional or legal justification for withdrawing the motion. There was “no middle way” and his party would press for a vote on the motion.
The Maulana said that resignations of MQM members sent through a fax in 1992 had been accepted. “Why the PTI is being given concession?”
MQM’s Khawaja Sohail Mansoor said his party had decided not to withdraw the motion. “We are firm on our stance,” he told reporters outside the parliament house.
JUI-F spokesman Jan Achakzai said that an MQM delegation led by Rashid Godail and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui met the JUI-F chief and discussed the matter. Maulana Fazl also talked to MQM chief Altaf Hussain during the meeting.
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