The group of lawmakers led by estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen announced on Tuesday that it would only move forward on a “minus Buzdar” strategy.
The announcement was another setback for the government and came as a delegation of senior opposition lawmakers submitted a no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan with the National Assembly Secretariat.
Speaking to the media in Lahore, Punjab MPA Nauman Langrial said that Tareen was currently in London and was apprised of the current situation via video link.
“During the meeting, we gave Tareen full authority to take decisions on behalf of the group,” he said, adding that different political parties had and were continuing to contact the group.
“However, I want to make it clear that all members of the group are united on the stance that we will move forward on the minus Buzdar [strategy],” he said, reiterating that they would accept the decisions taken by Tareen.
Langrial said that the group was also listening to things being said by the political parties getting in touch with them and updating Tareen about the developments.
He said that an important meeting would be held tomorrow to take decisions regarding the group’s future under the current circumstances. “We will look at this evolving situation and will draft a plan.”
When asked about possible candidates for the post of chief minister, the Punjab MPA asserted that the Tareen group was a “united front” and a “family”.
“We know that all members of this group will accept the decisions taken by Tareen.”
He also refused to comment on whether Aleem Khan — who had joined the group a day earlier — had been selected for the job, saying that the group was united under Tareen’s leadership. “We told Aleem Khan sahab the same, that if you are a part of this group then you will have to follow the decisions taken by Tareen.”
When pressed about PML-Q’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as a possible nominee, he said: “Tareen has the right to take all decisions. We will follow whatever he says.”
Concluding his press conference, he asserted that this was not a “rebellion”.
“We are following a certain mandate and the people have certain expectations of us. We are not only thinking about the PTI, but also about the province.”
Aleem Khan joins ‘dissidents club’
Khan, a close friend of the prime minister, announced on Monday that he would be joining hands with the Tareen group, prompting a panic-stricken PM to dispatch Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to Lahore to pacify the former Punjab minister.
While presiding over the PTI’s Core Committee meeting on Monday, the PM decided to appease all disgruntled leaders of his party when Khan re-emerged after lying low for a while, with the support of over three dozen Punjab MPAs, including 10 ministers.
For the first time in the PTI’s three-and-a-half-year rule, the former Punjab senior minister assailed the Imran Khan government in the Centre and the Usman Buzdar-led Punjab government for “completely failing to fulfil its mandate and bring about the promised change”.
Aleem Khan met the Tareen group members at the latter’s residence in his absence where they discussed the political scenario, agreeing the Punjab government should be toppled to begin with. Tareen is currently in London for medical treatment and is expected to return to Pakistan soon.
“The PTI’s diehard workers were pushed aside as soon as the Imran Khan government came to power and parachuters surrounded the prime minister,” Aleem told the media after meeting the disgruntled MPAs and provincial ministers.
“Many PTI workers are still looking for answers on why loyalists, including Jahangir Tareen, were pushed away,” he said. “We (the disgruntled members) would not have regretted being sidelined if the government was working in the right direction and offering relief to the masses.”
“I have become politically active (against my own party) as my supporters in the Punjab Assembly and the disgruntled members have decided to play our role to save the party and protect people from the PTI government’s misdoings,” he said in response to a question.
“I have met 40 MPAs, including ministers, in the past four days and decided that all the loyalists should join hands and launch a struggle to save the party.”
When asked whether this joint group would support the proposed no-confidence motion of the opposition, the former minister remained non-committal and said the two (Aleem and Tareen) groups would consult each other and decide whom to support.
Both Khan and Tareen were once PM Imran’s closest aides when the PTI formed the government in 2018. It was believed the two provided massive monetary assistance to the ruling party.
Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate
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.
NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns
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.
Maryam Nawaz honours ASP Shehr Bano For His Extraordinary Courage
Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N’s nominee for chief minister of Punjab, honours young police officer Shehr Bano for displaying extraordinary bravery, insight, and courage.
According to Maryam Nawaz, if the female police officer hadn’t arrived in time, a catastrophe may have happened.
The country is proud of you, she said as she praised Shehr Bano.
According to Maryam Nawaz, Shehr Bano maintained humanity and the law in the face of pressure, numbers, and circumstances.
She stated that it is required of every police officer to contribute to the defence of individuals’ lives and property.
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