Every PML-N MNA will resign when anti-govt movement reaches peak: Khawaja Asif


PML-N stalwart and former foreign minister Khawaja Asif said Thursday that when the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) anti-government protest will reach its peak, every lawmaker of the party will resign from the National Assembly. 

Asif was addressing the PML-N’s Convention of Parliamentarians and Ticket-holders where he criticised the government. “The economy has been destroyed, the peace of the people has been taken away. How much longer will the nation continue to pay such a high price for this?” he said. 

The former foreign minister said that when the anti-government protest campaign reaches its peak, all PML-N lawmakers will resign from the National Assembly. 

“We will see then on which electoral college does the government hold the Senate elections,” he said. 

The development comes after last month’s All Parties Conference held by the opposition parties who despite forming the PDM alliance and agreeing on the need for the incumbent government to go home, could not agree to resign from the assemblies. 

According to sources, a heated debate ensued on the matter of resigning from the provincial and national assemblies, with the issue being discussed at length between the leaders of the major parties attending. 

However, the decision to quit the assemblies was ultimately abandoned even though PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at one point in the discussions offered to submit their party’s resignations to each other.

Bilawal had offered that he submit his party’s resignations to Nawaz, who could then present the entire opposition’s resignations to the National Assembly Speaker upon his return to Pakistan, sources informed Geo News.

The PML-N supremo, when presented with the offer, said he was not against the idea but wished to first put the PTI-led government under pressure before opting for the step.

“You give me the PPP’s resignations and I will give you the PML-N’s resignations and you can then hand over all of them to JUI-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman,” Nawaz had reportedly said in response.

For PML-N resigning en masse not an option: Ayaz Sadiq

Sadiq was in Islamabad on Monday, representing the PML-N at a multi-party conference (MPC) of the opposition parties, hosted by Maulana Fazlur Rehman. At the meeting, explains Sadiq, he communicated to Rehman that parliamentarians from his party will not resign from the National Assembly. “That is just not an option,” Sadiq told Geo.tv, “Why should we leave this field unattended? The parliament is an important forum.”

The PML-N is the largest opposition party in the country, with 84 seats in the 342-member parliament. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), with 55 seats, also agreed with the PML-N at the sit down, added Sadiq. 

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has said in the past that if the opposition wants to fight, then it should resign and allow the government to hold elections on their vacated seats.

Hitting out at the opposition, Rashid had said a few days ago that opposition parties were agitating as they “feared” that PM Imran Khan will win the Senate elections in March.

The minister had also alleged that the opposition has used JUI-F leader Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman in the last two years and advised him not to get used by them again this time.

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