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NA deputy speaker accepts resignations of PTI’s 123 MNAs

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  • Taking to Twitter, former prime minister Imran Khan lauds his MNAs for resigning from the National Assembly.
  • Says MNAs are “standing firm for a sovereign Pak & against US-initiated regime change bringing to power criminals, convicted & on bail.”
  • Says regime change is the ultimate insult to any self-respecting independent nation.

The Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Qasim Suri on Thursday accepted the resignations of 123 PTI MNAs after they decided to disassociate themselves from the National Assembly following the ouster of PTI Chairman Imran Khan from the office of the prime minister.

Khan was ousted through a no-confidence motion brought against him by the then joint Opposition, a move that the PTI called a “foreign conspiracy” hatched by the United States. The allegation, however, has been categorically denied by the superpower. 

After being removed from the office, the former premier asked his MNAs to tender their resignations and refused to accept the newly elected premier, saying “there can’t be any bigger insult to this country”.

Taking to Twitter Thursday, Imran Khan lauded his MNAs for tendering their resignations.

“Want to appreciate our 123 MNAs as their resignations have been accepted by Speaker Qasim Suri. Their standing firm for a sovereign Pak & against US-initiated regime change bringing to power criminals, convicted & on bail — the ultimate insult to any self-respecting indep[endent] nation.”

Responding to the call of the former prime minister, PTI’s MNAs tendered their resignations to the deputy speaker of the National Assembly hours before the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the new prime minister. 

The decision was reportedly made during the PTI’s parliamentary party meeting on April 11.

Sources privy to the matter quoted Khan as saying: “We will not sit in this Assembly under any circumstances.” 

He said that PTI will not sit in the Assembly with the “people who have robbed Pakistan” and who have been “imported by foreign forces”.

“We have made this decision to keep the institutions under pressure who want this government to run the country […] we will not let them continue.”

It is worth mentioning that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) can hold the by-elections at any given point and it is not bound by any time limit.

MNAs who did not resign

Meanwhile, some of the MNAs who have not resigned from the assembly include Farrukh Altaf, Amir Sultan Cheema, Afzal Dhandla, Ghulam Muhammad Lali, Asim Nazir, Nawab Sher Wasir, Riaz Fatyana, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Ahmed Hussain Deharr, Rai Murtaza Iqbal, Qasim Noon, Ghaffar Wattoo, Samiul Hassan Gilani, Makhdoom Mubeen, Basit Sultan Bukhari, Aamir Talal Gopang, Amjad Farooq Khosa, Sardar Jafar Leghari,  Javaria Zafar Aheer, Sardar Riaz Mazari, and Wajiha Akram.

Imran Khan ousted from power

On Saturday, April 10, Imran Khan was ousted as the prime minister of Pakistan from office through a no-confidence motion.

The session was chaired by Ayaz Sadiq — a member of the panel of chairs — after speaker Asad Qasier resigned from his post.

“174 members have recorded their votes in favour of the resolution, consequently the resolution for the vote on no-confidence against Mr Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, has been passed by a majority,” Ayaz Sadiq announced after the process of voting was completed.

Once the voting was concluded and the result was announced, Opposition leaders delivered their victory speeches. The session then was adjourned till 11am on Monday, April 11.

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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