Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Pervaiz Elahi on Wednesday sent a reference to the Election Commission against 26 dissident Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPAs with a request to disqualify them for lifetime over violating the party’s discipline, showing disloyalty, violating the norms of democracy.
The ECP received the reference filed under Article 63A (1) (b) (i) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.
The reference was earlier sent to the speaker on behalf of former prime minister Imran Khan, contending that the 26 lawmakers had “violated Article 63A(1)(b)(i) of the Constitution through participating in the voting on April 16, and casting their votes in favour of now chief minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz. It noted that on account of their votes, Elahi lost the election.
The MPAs, by violating the said Article, became disqualified from being elected as members of the legislature in the country.
Also read: Hamza ‘elected’ Punjab CM
Meanwhile, while commenting on the reference, Pervaiz Elahi – who is also senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) – asked for taking the reference to a logical conclusion.
He said that the defected lawmakers neither had legal status nor respect among the masses. He observed that the PTI leadership had taken a bold step against the politics of turncoats.
Elahi hoped that an early decision in this regard will discourage those with vested interests and ‘lotacracy’ in national politics.
The 26 dissident MPAs include Abdul Aleem Khan, Malik Numan Langrial, Nazir Ahmad Chohan, Raja Sagheer Ahmed, Malik Ghulam Rasool Sangha, Malik Saeed Akbar Khan, Muhammad Ajmal, Faisal Hayat, Mehar Muhammad Aslam, Mian Khalid Mehmood, Muhammad Amin Zulqarnain, Muhammad Salman, Zawar Hussain Warraich, Nazir Ahmed Khan, Fida Hussain, Zahra Batool, Muhammad Tahir, Aisha Nawaz, Sajida Yousaf, Haroon Imran Gill, Uzma Kardar, Mlaik Asad Ali, Ijaz Masih, Muhammad Sabtain Raza, Javeed Akhtar and Mohsin Atta Khan Khosa.
On April 16, Hamza Shehbaz was “elected” as the new chief minister of Punjab securing 197 votes amid the chaos that erupted in the provincial assembly, but his rival candidate has declared the polls as “illegal”.
Elahi, who was the PTI’s candidate for the chief minister’s position but later boycotted the polls after being physically assaulted allegedly by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPAs, declared the election “illegal”, casting a shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of the electoral process.
‘Culprits still at large’
Meanwhile, Patron-in-Chief of Tehreek Minhaj-ul-Quran Dr Tahirul Qadri called Elahi and inquired about his health. Pakistan Awami Tehrik Secretary-General Khurrum Nawaz Gandapur, Central Vice-Presidents Raja Zahid, Noorullah Siddiqui, GM Malik, Arif Chaudhry, spokesperson and Dr Zain Ali Bhatti were also present on the occasion.
The PML-Q leader said that those who were convicted in the Model Town case had taken up the roles of prime minister, chief minister and interior minister.
He lamented that an impartial probe into the tragedy had not taken place even after the passage of seven years.
On the occasion, Dr Qadri alleged that those responsible for the violence in Punjab Assembly and earlier in Model Town were the same.
Criticising the PTI government for its action against the culprits during its term, the PAT chief called for urgent action against those responsible.