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Imran Khan will ‘sit back and watch’ next army chief’s appointment

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  • “Let them do what they want,” Khan says.
  • PTI chief claims Toshakhana watch sold in Islamabad.
  • Khan says “good relations” to be maintained with US.

LAHORE: PTI Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday said that his party is sitting back and watching, as the government decides to appoint the next army chief.

He took a dig at the PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif alleging that the former prime minister wants to appoint someone to ensure his protection.

“Let them do what they want. Nawaz Sharif wants to appoint an army chief who will protect his interests. No army chief will go against the nation’s interests,” the PTI chief said commenting on the matter.

In a meeting with senior journalists in Lahore, Khan also spoke about his ongoing Toshakana saga, a day after a Dubai-based businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor revealed about buying Toshakana gifts — presented to the former prime minister by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman — from Farah Gogi and Shahzad Akbar.

The gifts also included an expensive Graff wristwatch — worth at least Rs2 billion — to him. Zahoor said that he has evidence to back his claims.

“The Toshakhana watch was sold in Islamabad and there is evidence [to prove it],” the PTI chairman said.

Speaking about the alleged cipher and his claims regarding the United States’ involvement in his ouster in April following a no-confidence motion, Khan said that his statement in relation to the US was wrongly presented.

“I spoke about prioritising national interest over my own. America toppled my government, but good relations will be maintained with them due to national interest,” the former premier said in meeting with journalists.

Revealing about about receiving an invitation to conduct negotiations, the PTI chairman said: “Message of negotiations is being sent to us, but we responded seeking an election date. Free and fair election has the solution to all the crises.”

Khan, when speaking about PTI’s long march, said that the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ movement is showing its effects.

“The nation’s awareness and movement stands strongly against the imported government. Attempts to bend the nation through oppression, fascism, and by violation constitutional rights are failing,” Khan said adding that the attempts to kill him and clear the way through bloodshed in the long march also fell flat.

The PTI chairman also reiterated his stance on the need for rule of law in the country to ensure progress.

“Rule of law ensures an independent nation, which take the country toward progress,” Khan said during the meeting.

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36% of fresh faces make it to the National Assembly.

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Following the general elections of this year, a record 36% of new members have joined the National Assembly.

There are now 96 new legislators that have been elected to the assembly out of 265 total. In the general elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has elected the most number of fresh faces as Independents.

Of the new faces, eleven PPP and MQM members, as well as fifteen PML-N members, have become MNAs for the first time. The IPP’s Abdul Aleem Khan and Awn Chaudhry were elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

Ataullah Tarar of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mir Jamal Khan Raisani, the party’s youngest member, was also elected from Balochistan for the first time and made it to the lower house.

Sher Afzal Marwat, Latif Khosa, and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who is supported by the PTI, are some of the fresh faces. In the last parliament, Shandana Gulzar had a reserved seat; however, this time, she was elected to a general seat.

Arshad Vohra, Syed Mustafa Kamal, and Rauf Siddiqui of the MQM were also elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

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Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns

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Details indicate that in response, the federal government informed Dr. Arif Alvi that Article 91 of the 1973 Constitution does not grant the president the “discretion or power” to adjourn the National Assembly session.

The sources quoted the federal administration and said, “Nowhere in Article 91 is it written that if the House is incomplete, the National Assembly session cannot be convened.”

It further said that Article 54 of the constitution allowed the president to adjourn the National Assembly’s “ordinary” session alone. According to the summary, the president was requested to call an extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that the newly elected members may take an oath of office.

Dr. Arif Alvi was asked to reconsider his choice and call a meeting of the National Assembly by the acting federal government on February 29.

The sources quoted the federal government and stated, “It is not written anywhere in the constitution that if specific seats are not allotted, the session cannot be called.”

It further said that the National Assembly must be called within 21 days following the election in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution.

The caretaker administration responded, saying, “Even if the President does not call the National Assembly session by February 29, it would still be held on the same day.”

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, February 29th, in order to administer the oath to the newly elected Members of Congress earlier on Monday.

According to specifics, President Arif Alvi declined to call a meeting under clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution, arguing that the lower body is still unfinished because a decision on certain reserved seats has not yet been made. Consequently, the Speaker National Assembly called the meeting.

The National Assembly’s maiden session was called by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The freshly elected members of the National Assembly would take the oath of office from the Speaker. During the first session, the election schedules for speaker and deputy speaker will also be released.

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