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Amid reports of division, PTI decides to dissolve Punjab Assembly first

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  • Imran Khan meets MPs from PTI’s Rawalpindi Division.
  • PTI insists early election solution to economic crisis.
  • KP assembly will be dissolved after Punjab.

LAHORE: While there are reports of difference of opinion among the lawmakers, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Monday decided that it would dissolve the Punjab Assembly in the first phase, while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly would be dissolved afterwards.

Sources privy to the matter reported that the decision about the dissolution of provincial assemblies and resignations from the National Assembly was made in a meeting chaired by PTI Chairman Imran Khan with the lawmakers from Rawalpindi Division.

Initially, the Punjab Assembly would be dissolved, the meeting decided as the party members are divided upon the plan and are urging to delay the dissolution of assemblies.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar had earlier admitted that some members are against the party’s move and asked to delay it.

Chief Minister Pervez Elahi had also reportedly conveyed the PML-Q’s opinion on the issue to Imran Khan, advising him to be very careful in this regard before taking a final decision.

However, the PTI is adamant and warned the government to give an election date by December 20 or else they will dissolve the assemblies but the government has refused to budge.

The meeting with the Rawalpindi members on Monday, the sources added, also endorsed the plan to convert the nationwide protest movement into an electoral campaign.

They said that it was resolved in the meeting that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly would be dissolved in the second phase.

“All the members from Rawalpindi have confirmed that they would quit the National Assembly.”

The lawmakers said that the country was going through the worst economic crisis, adding that transparent snap elections were the only way to get out of the quagmire.

Imran Khan’s video address

Meanwhile, in a video address on Monday, Imran Khan said that the only solution to the ongoing “alarming” economic condition was holding early elections in the country.

“This might be the biggest economic crisis that this country has ever witnessed […] the media houses that had to inform the people about the ongoing economic crisis aren’t doing their job,” Khan said.

The ex-prime minister said he was not only addressing the nation, but he was also speaking to the institutions as economic deterioration would affect the entire country.

Khan said when the PTI government rolled out the National Security Policy (NSP), it mentioned that despite former soviet union’s armed forces being the strongest in the world, it could not save the state from collapse due to the economic condition.

The ex-premier said the judiciary should play its role as they will also “be answerable” if the economy further worsens. “Also, I am surprised at the business community’s silence.”

Khan said that amid the ongoing crisis, small and large-scale businesses were the most affected. He added that exports were also declining gradually.

“The business community should ask why aren’t the overseas Pakistanis sending remittances. In our tenure, remittances, textile exports, tax collection, all were at a record high,” he said.

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PTI received unwelcome respite, according to Rana Sanaullah

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In the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) reserved seat dispute, the government would respect the majority ruling of the Supreme Court, according to PMLN senior leader and advisor on political affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan.

He stated that after examining the decision, the government’s legal team would react appropriately. According to Rana Sanaullah, the legal team would determine whether or not to submit a review petition.

“SIC petitions were rejected but PTI was given that relief which was neither asked in the petition nor contest during the proceeding,” asserted Rana Sanaullah in response to the ruling.

He argued that because parties established administrations with a simple majority, the PMLN-led unity movement did not have a two-thirds majority.

According to Rana Sanaullah, PTI should challenge election tribunal rulings, with the government carrying out the rulings.

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The membership of Sher Afzal Marwat has been suspended by PTI.

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According to sources, PTI officials convened with imprisoned party founder Imran Khan on Thursday to make a decision over Marwat.

The party authorities alleged that Sher Afzal Marwat had been consistently breaching party discipline over the past month.

“In the meeting with Imran Khan, it was mutually agreed that no leader holds a superior position within the party, and any other leaders who deviate from the party’s stance will face similar consequences,” they stated.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has recently issued a show-cause notice to Sher Afzal Marwat due to his irresponsible utterances.

The notice, issued by PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan, requires Marwat to provide an explanation for his utterances within a three-day period. These statements have been considered harmful to the party’s reputation.

The notification declares that making such utterances goes against the party’s code of conduct and contravenes the explicit directives of the party’s founder, Imran Khan, who has underscored the significance of accountable conduct.

Marwat was cautioned that if they fail to react or offer a satisfactory explanation, it could result in additional disciplinary measures.

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Supporting phone tapping for “national security,” Khawaja Asif

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In the continuous fight against terrorism, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has stated that he is a strong supporter of security agencies’ phone tapping practices.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, particularly party head Omer Ayub, criticized and engaged in contentious arguments following Asif’s statements.

The significance of phone tapping for national security was emphasized by Khawaja Asif in an interview with a foreign media source. “Terrorism is the enemy that we fight. Given the circumstances, I will be in favor of phone tapping,” he said.

Noting that the phone tapping matter is presently being handled through the legal system, he further urged that everyone support the measure. “Phone tapping is necessary for national security,” he asserted.

By highlighting the PTI’s erratic position on the issue, the defense minister also rejected the party’s concerns as hypocritical.

Every action, whether legal and illegal, seemed acceptable to Imran Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Taliban, when he was on good terms with the authorities.” Asif said, “The same thing is hateful to his followers today.”

In order to prevent terrorism and protect national security, Asif emphasized the importance of phone tapping. Under the present conditions, I will be in favor of phone tapping. The fight against terrorism required it, he declared. In these difficult circumstances, he also urged detractors to think about the wider effects of security precautions.

After former prime minister Imran Khan complained about his phone being tapped, Asif hinted that the PTI’s present protests are politically motivated by pointing to earlier instances in which they had a positive relationship with the establishment.

For the purpose of maintaining national security and preventing any criminal activity, the central government granted Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the nation’s premier spy agency, permission to tap phones on July 8. A notification stating that Section 54 of the Pakistan Telecommunication Act 1996 permits ISI to record phone calls has been issued. Anything that falls under the notification category can be recorded by it.

The notice included a call recording feature in addition to the ability to track messages and calls. Subject to the prime minister’s approval, ISI personnel ranked 18th or higher are granted this authority. It will be feasible to record WhatsApp calls, SMS, and other applications in addition to cell calls, the release states.

Notably, on June 30, Justice Babar Sattar of the Islamabad High Court said that it is legally unlawful to monitor civilians in any way in the case of the audio leaks involving the son of former chief justice Saqib Nisar and Bushra Bibi. According to his ruling, the prime minister and the cabinet bear both collective and individual responsibility for the widespread surveillance of four million citizens carried out by the federal government through the system.

The prime minister should acquire intelligence agency reports and bring the issue before the cabinet, the court judgment stated. Furthermore, according to the decision, the prime minister must report to the court on the Lawful Management System within six weeks.

“The prime minister will tell whether the surveillance of citizens is going on against the law and constitution,” the court stated.

Along with identifying who is in charge of the surveillance system that is interfering with citizens’ privacy, he should also disclose who installed the Lawful Interception Management System and mass surveillance. By July 5, all telecom firms were ordered by the court to submit their reports about the Lawful Interception Management System.

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