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In meeting with Imran, Punjab CM assures to stand by PTI decision on assembly dissolution

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  • “We will support all of Imran Khan’s decisions,” says Elahi.
  • CM Punjab pledges loyalty to Khan.
  • Khattak says PML-Q and PTI are on same page.

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has assured PTI Chairman Imran Khan of standing by his side as the opposition in the provincial assembly mulls ways to overthrow the PTI-PML-Q-led coalition government in the province.

Khan — who called off his long march to Islamabad last week — has announced quitting assemblies across the country, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

The party’s leadership, according to PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, has approved the dissolution of assemblies in both provinces, but the final decision will be made after further consultations.

The opposition — PML-N and the allied parties — has said that it would not back down from a challenge, but stressed that snap polls were not in the country’s favour.

In his meeting with Khan at the PTI chief’s Lahore residence Thursday, Elahi once again pledged his loyalty and stressed that he “owed” the Punjab Assembly to the former prime minister.

Elahi said he would not “hesitate for a moment” when Khan orders him to dissolve the assembly as he will keep supporting all of the PTI chief’s decisions.

He added that the elements behind creating misconceptions in the camps of PTI and PML-Q would “fail again” as he slammed the opposition for claiming that they were in contact with the government’s lawmakers.

“Imran Khan is indispensable,” CM Elahi said and challenged the opposition to table a no-confidence motion against him. “They have failed before and will fail again.”

The PML-Q leader said the opposition is “daydreaming” if it thinks it can overthrow the Punjab government. He added that the opposition does not have the required numbers.

“If the Punjab Assembly is in session, then the governor’s rule cannot be imposed. It is my honest advice to the opposition: please read the rules of business.”

“Whatever Imran Khan says, I will act without hesitation. Punjab Assembly [is a small thing], I will give my life for Imran Khan,” the chief minister said.

In conversation with journalists after the meeting, PTI senior leader Pervez Khattak said that the meeting was good “overall” and that Khan would make the final call on all matters.

“Chaudhry and us, we are all one. Khan sahib is our leader. All the decisions that have been made will be unveiled later,” the former KP CM said.

Khattak said both the leaders have reached a consensus on all matters and that CM Punjab has agreed to follow Khan’s decisions. “He [Elahi] stands by his words.”

The PTI leader also said that he did not want “groupings or divisions” within the party as he noted that the established has committed to staying out of politics.

Punjab MPAs oppose assembly’s dissolution

Sources, earlier in the day, told Geo News that several Punjab lawmakers belonging to the PTI have advised the party’s chairman against dissolving the provincial assembly immediately.

The development came after the party’s high-level committee submitted a report in relation to the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly to Khan, sources said.

The lawmakers advised the PTI chief not to immediately dissolve the assembly, citing the ongoing development projects in their constituencies, the sources said.

The report regarding the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly was put before a meeting today, which was chaired by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Party leaders Mian Aslam Iqbal, Mian Mehmood-Ur-Rasheed, Hammad Azhar, Ejaz Chaudhry, and others attended the meeting.

As per the report, according to sources, some lawmakers have advised against the immediate dissolution of the Punjab Assembly as they believe development tenders worth billions of rupees have been opened, and multiple projects are near completion in their constituencies.

The lawmakers have also recommended that the timing of the political move should be effective so that it pushes the federal government to call general polls, sources said.

Moreover, to hold further consultations, the PTI chief has summoned a session of the PTI’s Sindh and Balochistan parliamentary parties on Sunday.

The sources added that the decision regarding the dissolution or PTI quitting all assemblies would be made by the PTI chief after the session of their parliamentary parties on Sunday.

Khan has also tasked the party’s legal team to analyse the legal aspects of the matter and prepare for any predictable complications.

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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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