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SC rejects govt’s request to immediately stop PTI’s long march, advises talks with Imran Khan

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  • CJP heads 5-member bench to hear govt’s contempt plea against Khan.
  • No one can be deprived of the right to protest, chief justice says.
  • SC orders PTI chief, his lawyers to submit answers by October 31.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the federal government’s request to immediately stop PTI chief Imran Khan’s long march to Islamabad, with Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial advising the government to hold talks with the former prime minister. 

The federal government filed a contempt of court plea against the PTI chairman in the Supreme Court over his long march to the federal capital. 

In its petition, the government said, “Imran Khan is making announcements to attack Islamabad”, which it claimed was a violation of a court order. It urged the apex court to direct the PTI chief to ensure the implementation of its orders related to protests and sit-ins.

A five-member bench, headed by CJP Bandial, comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the plea today. 

A day earlier, Khan said PTI will kick off its long march on October 28 (Friday) from Lahore.

The former prime minister said that all party workers, supporters and leaders will gather at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk at 11am from where they will march towards Islamabad.

Today’s hearing

In his arguments during the hearing, Additional Attorney General Aamir Rahman said that the reports of police and intelligence institutions have been reviewed.

The additional attorney general said that the court had first asked when did the PTI chief give a call for the long march.

He said that the court order came on May 25 at 6pm, while the announcement was made by Khan at 6:50pm and he made the second announcement at 9:54pm.

“The PTI had requested to stage a sit-in at the Srinagar Highway,” he said. “Khan had also announced to go to D-Chowk even before the court order.”

Rahman said that later PTI leaders Shireen Mazari, Fawad Chaudhary, Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, Usman Dar, Shahbaz Gill, and Saifullah Niazi also gave a call to party workers to arrive at D chowk.

Meanwhile, the court sought a response from Khan over the plea seeking contempt proceedings against him.

“From Khan’s statement, it seems like he was informed about the court’s orders as he said that the SC ordered removing barricades,” the CJP remarked as he summoned the PTI chairman to clarify before the court who said what.

Rehman contended that Khan’s latest call to reach D-chowk is a contempt of court, he said, while referring to the end of PTI’s long march at Jinnah Avenue on May 26.

“Khan crossed the restricted area H9 and reached Blue Area where he ended the rally,” he said.

The additional attorney general further stated that PTI lawyers Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhry assured the court that they would not cross the restricted area.

At this, CJP Bandial said that Rehman’s argument has some weight therefore it would be better to seek a response from those who assured.

‘Not necessary’

During the hearing, Justice Bandial said that the reports have enough justification that Khan should submit an answer.

“Even if a notice is served, it is not necessary for Khan to appear,” he said.

The chief justice added that the court doesn’t want to make the headlines, it only wants the rule of law to prevail. “One has to show up when a show-cause notice in the contempt case of civil nature is served,” he added.

Justice Yahya said that the court cannot seek an answer from anyone without notice.

The court also directed to provide the police, ISI, and IB reports to Khan and said that the PTI chief should provide an answer in light of these reports.

The Supreme Court also sought answers from former premier’s lawyers Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhary.

“We are not issuing notice as of yet,” said the CJP, adding that a notice would give an impression that the proceedings have started.

Meanwhile, Justice Yahya issued a show-cause notice to Khan according to the previous differing note.

The court ordered that the PTI chairman and his lawyers should submit an answer by October 31.

The court adjourned the hearing till October 31.

SC is ‘not an executive’

Earlier during the hearing, AAG Rehman informed the court that there is a miscellaneous plea seeking orders for PTI to immediately stop the long march.

At this, CJP Bandial observed that the plea has now become effective as he has given the call to march.

However, Justice Afridi remarked that it would be better if the government takes back the plea for orders to stop the long march or it will have legal effects.

Meanwhile, CJP Bandial remarked that the SC is “not an executive nor it wants to be one”. No one can be deprived of the right to protest, he added.

However, he stressed that the protest should be within the limits of laws.

“In the context of the facts, the violation of the affidavit needs to be looked at prima facie,” the CJP observed, adding that the events of May 26 are not clear.

At this, the additional attorney general sought time to take new directives from the government regarding the plea, seeking orders to stop PTI’s long march.

The court accepted the request, assuring the government that the court can be approached if any issue occurred before October 31.

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‘We are asking you politely to appoint AGP,’ SC to govt

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  • SC expresses displeasure over delay in AGP’s appointment. 
  • Justice Isa calls govt “incompetent”. 
  • Says govt violating Constitution by not appointing AGP.

The Supreme Court on Monday, while fuming over the delay in the attorney general of Pakistan’s (AGP) appointment, told the federal government to fill the constitutional post. 

Justice Qazi Faez Isa gave remarks on the lack of assistance from the attorney general in a case related to tampered car. 

“We are asking you politely to appoint the attorney general,” Justice Isa told the government during the hearing.

“Who is the attorney general in the country right now?” questioned Justice Isa. 

At this, the deputy attorney general failed to give a satisfying answer. 

“The government is so incompetent that it cannot even appoint an attorney general,” said the Supreme Court justice. 

He questioned whether the government is bargaining with someone over the AGP’s appointment. 

“The Supreme Court has 5,500 lawyers but the government cannot find a single one,” he added. 

Justice Isa said that the government is violating the Constitution by not appointing the AGP, adding that the orders given by the apex court were not followed either. 

The court said that the additional attorney general and the deputy attorney general are bound to take instructions from the AGP only. 

“It is against the law for the deputy and additional attorney general to appear without instructions of the AGP,” the court added.

‘AGP to be finalised in 2-3 days’

On January 21, Federal Law Minister Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the new attorney general will be finalized within two or three days. 

The judiciary had expressed displeasure with the government for not appointing the AGP after former attorney general Ashtar Ausaf Ali tendered his resignation in October last year due to health reasons.

President Dr Arif Alvi approved the appointment of Mansoor Usman Awan, who is a Supreme Court lawyer, as the AGP on December 23 after accepting Ausaf’s resignation. However, he refused from taking charge.

“I am going to meet PM Shehbaz today (Saturday) and possibly the issue of appointing the new attorney general will be finalised within two or three days,” Tarar said.

He revealed that first Awan consented to be the attorney general but later he verbally and in writing refused to accept the office, citing his professional engagements.

“I can’t disclose the names of the new potential candidates, being nominated for the slot of attorney general but hopefully the prime minister will finalize the name within two to three days,” he told The News.

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Here’s the list of PTI MNAs whose resignations have been accepted so far

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National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Friday accepted the resignations of 35 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNAs taking the total number of resignations accepted in the last eight months to 81.

The National Assembly Secretariat, in a statement issued in this regard, mentioned that the resignations have been approved under Clause (1) of Article 64 of the Constitution of Pakistan. 

Following the approval of the resignations, the summary was sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-notify the PTI lawmakers.

Here’s a list of all 35 MNAs whose resignations were accepted today:

  • Dr Haider Ali Khan — NA-2
  • Saleem Rehman — NA-3
  • Sahibzada Sibghatullah — NA-5
  • Mehboob Shah — NA-6
  • Muhammad Bashir Khan — NA-7
  • Junaid Akbar — NA-8
  • Sher Akbar Khan —NA-9
  • Ali Khan Jadoon —NA-16
  • Engr Usman Khan Tarakai — NA-19
  • Mujahid Ali — NA-20
  • Arbab Amir Ayub — NA-28
  • Sher Ali Arbab — NA-30
  • Shahid Ahmed — NA-34
  • Gul Dad Khan — NA-40
  • Sajid Khan — NA-42
  • Mohammad Iqbal Khan — NA-44
  • Aamer Mehmood Kiani — NA-61
  • Syed Faiz ul Hassan — NA-70
  • Ch Shoukat Ali Bhatti — NA-87
  • Umar Aslam Khan — NA-93
  • Amjad Ali Khan — NA-96
  • Khurram Shahzad — NA-107
  • Faizullah — NA-109
  • Malik Karamat Ali Khokhar — NA-135
  • Syed Fakhar Imam — NA-150
  • Zahoor Hussain Qureshi — NA-152
  • Ibraheem Khan — NA-158
  • Tahir Iqbal — NA-164
  • Aurangzeb Khan Khichi — NA-165
  • Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar — NA-177
  • Abdul Majeed Khan — NA-187

Reserve Seats

  • Andaleeb Abbas — RS-Women
  • Asma Qadeer — RS-Women
  • Maleeka Ali Bokhari — RS-Women
  • Munawara Bibi Baloch — RS-Women

The NA speaker accepted 70 resignations this week, as he approved the resignations of 35 lawmakers earlier this week. 

Here’s a list of all those 35 MNAs de-notified by the ECP:

  • Murad Saeed — NA-04 Swat-III
  • Omar Ayub Khan — NA-17 Haripur-I
  • Asad Qaiser — NA-18 Swabi-I
  • Pervaiz Khattak — NA-25 Nowshera-I
  • Imran Khattak — NA-26 Nowshera-II
  • Sheharyar Afridi — NA-32 Kohat
  • Ali Amin Khan — NA-38 Dera Ismail Khan-I
  • Noor-ul-Haq Qadri — NA-43 Khyber Agency Tribal Area-IV
  • Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz — NA-52 ICT-I
  • Ali Nawaz Awan — NA-53 ICT-II
  • Asad Umar — NA-54 ICT-III
  • Sadaqat Ali Khan — NA-57 Rawalpindi-I
  • Ghulam Sarwar Khan — NA-59 Rawalpindi-III
  • Sheikh Rashid Shafique — NA-60 Rawalpindi-IV
  • Sheikh Rashid Ahmed — NA-62 Rawalpindi-VI
  • Mansoor Hayat Khan — NA-63 Rawalpindi-VIII
  • Fawad Ahmed — NA-67 Jehlum II
  • M. Sanaullah Khan Mastikhel — NA-97 Bhakkar-II
  • Muhammad Hammad Azhar — NA-126 Lahore IV
  • Shafqat Mahmood Khan — NA-126 Lahore VIII
  • Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar — NA-155 Multan-II
  • Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi — NA-156 Multan-III
  • Zartaj Gul — NA-191 DG Khan-III
  • Faheem Khan — NA-241 Korangi Karachi III
  • Saif Ur Rehman — NA-242 Karachi East-I
  • Muhammad Alamgir Khan — NA-243 Karachi East-II
  • Syed Ali Haider Zaidi — NA-244 Karachi East-III
  • Aftab Hussain Saddique — NA-247 Karachi South-II
  • Atta-Ullah — NA-250 Karachi West-III
  • Aftab Jhangir — NA-252 Karachi West-V
  • Muhammad Aslam Khan — NA-254 Karachi Central-II
  • Muhammad Najeeb Haroon — NA-256 Karachi Central-IV
  • Muhammad Qasim Khan Suri — NA-265 Quetta-II

Reserve Seats

  • Aliya Hamza Malik — RS-Women
  • Kanwal Shauzab — RS-Women

Earlier on July 28, 2022, the speaker approved the resignations of 11 PTI members under Article 64(1) of the Constitution of Pakistan.

According to the notification, the NA speaker accepted the resignations of the following members of the lower house last year:

  • Ali Muhammad Khan — NA-11, Mardan-III
  • Fazal Muhammad Khan — NA-24, Charsadda-II
  • Shaukat Ali — NA-31, Peshawar-V
  • Fakhar Zaman Khan — NA-45, Kurram-I
  • Farrukh Habib — NA-108, Faisalabad-VIII
  • Ijaz Ahmad Shah — NA-118, Nankana Sahib-II
  • Jamil Ahmed Khan — NA-237, Malir-II
  • Muhammad Akram Cheema — NA-239, Korangi Karachi-I
  • Abdul Shakoor Shad — NA-246, Karachi South-I
  • Shireen Mehrunnisa Mazari — Reserved Seat for Women (Punjab)
  • Shandana Gulzar Khan — Reserved Seat for Women (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)

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NA speaker accepts resignations of 35 more PTI lawmakers

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  • Resignations accepted in accordance with Article 64 of Constitution.
  • Summary sent to ECP to de-notify PTI lawmakers.
  • Seventy PTI resignations have been accepted this week.

ISLAMABAD: The political uncertainty continues in Pakistan after the National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz on Friday accepted the resignations of 35 more Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNAs.

The PTI had resigned from the lower house of parliament after the ouster of PTI chief Imran Khan in April 2022.

According to a press release issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, the resignations were accepted in accordance with clause (1) of Article 64 of the Constitution and rules of procedure and conduct of Business in the NA.

“In accordance with clause (1) of Article 64 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, read with Rule 43 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly of Pakistan 2007, the Hon’ble Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan has been pleased to accept the resignations of the following Members of the National Assembly with effect from April 11, 2022, the date when the letter of respective resignations was submitted,” said the statement.

The resignations had been accepted with effect from 11 April 2022, the date when the letters of respective resignations were submitted, said Radio Pakistan.

Following the approval of the resignations, the summary was sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-notify the PTI lawmakers.

Here’s the list of PTI lawmakers whose resignations have been accepted:

S.NoNameConstituency
01Dr Haider Ali KhanNA-2
02Saleem RehmanNA-3
03Sahibzada SibghatullahNA-5
04Mehboob ShahNA-6
05Muhammad Bashir KhanNA-7
06Junaid AkbarNA-8
07Sher Akbar KhanNA-9
08Ali Khan JadoonNA-16
09Engr Usman Khan TarakaiNA-19
10Mujahid AliNA-20
11Arbab Amir AyubNA-28
12Sher Ali ArbabNA-30
13Shahid AhmedNA-34
14Gul Dad KhanNA-40
15Sajid KhanNA-42
16Mohammad Iqbal KhanNA-44
17Aamer Mehmood KianiNA-61
18Syed Faiz ul HassanNA-70
19Chaudhry Shoukat Ali BhattiNA-87
20Umar Aslam KhanNA-93
21Amjad Ali KhanNA-96
22Khurram ShahzadNA-107
23FaizullahNA-109
24Malik Karamat Ali KhokharNA-135
25Syed Fakhar ImamNA-150
26Zahoor Hussain QureshiNA-152
27Ibraheem KhanNA-158
28Tahir IqbalNA-164
29Aurangzeb Khan KhichiNA-165
30Makhdoom Khusro BakhtiarNA-177
31Abdul Majeed KhanNA-187
32Andaleeb AbbasReserved seat
33Asma QadeerReserved seat
34Maleeka Ali BokhariReserved seat
35Munawara Bibi BalochReserved seat

Earlier, Ashraf had stalled the process of accepting resignations after July 28 stating the remaining lawmakers would be summoned individually for verification. 

However, contrary to his claims he quickened the process by accepting the resignations of 34 PTI MNAs and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid earlier this week after an eight-month hiatus.

Soon after the PTI announced its return to the assembly and test the PM through a no-trust move, the government so far accepted 70 PTI resignations during the current week only.

Around 131 MNAs of the PTI had tendered their resignations en masse after Imran Khan’s government was ousted through a no-confidence motion in April last year.

By July 28, 2022, the NA speaker had accepted the resignations of only 11 PTI lawmakers.

PTI calls govt’s move ‘illegal and immoral’

Speaking to the media outside the Parliament House, senior PTI leaders said the speaker retracted from his old stance by accepting the resignations of 35 more PTI lawmakers today.

Asad Qaiser, Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry and others termed the government’s move “illegal and immoral”.

Former National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser condemned the decision and revealed that Ashraf had called the PTI leaders to the assembly and told them that the resignations would not be accepted unless he had a word with the MNAs himself separately.

“Were those whose resignations were accepted called by the Speaker?”Qaiser asked.

Berating the speaker’s decision, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said now that 81 resignations were accepted, the government must also give a date for the general elections.

Expressing his displeasure over the decision, the PTI leader blamed Islamabad for the political and economic crises in the country. 

“We are heading towards a Sri Lanka-like situation,” Chaudhry claimed.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the speaker first said that he cannot accept the resignations collectively.

“We decided to come to the meeting and he [the speaker] postponed it and when we came to the assembly, he accepted the resignations of 35 more MNAs,” said Qureshi, demanding that the rest of the resignations should also be accepted.

The party’s vice chairman said that the PTI wants snap polls so that the people can decide for themselves.

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