Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the chairman of the PTI, has formally approved filing references to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser against the party MNAs, who were allegedly involved in horse-trading.
The time given to the dissident PTI MNAs for submitting their clarification has expired. Now, the party would take decisive action against its MNAs “involved in horse-trading”. The premier has also dismissed the replies of these lawmakers as “unsatisfactory”. Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan and PTI Additional General Secretary MNA Amir Kayani met on Friday after which a statement was issued.
“On the directives of Prime Minister and Chairman PTI Imran Khan, references have been finalised against the dissident MNAs of the party,” the statement read. IT added that the references would also contain “documented evidence” against the PTI’s dissident MNAs and that PM Imran had rejected their response to the show-cause notices, terming them “unsatisfactory”.
The PTI is sending the reference to the speaker under Article 63-A(1) of the Constitution. PM’s aide Awan said the prime minister had ordered stern legal action against the dissident members. He added that the Constitution imposed the basic condition of honesty and trust on lawmakers.
“Horse-trading members openly deviate from instructions of the parliamentary party chief.” Awan further said the members, who had committed serious constitutional crimes like switching sides, were no longer Sadiq and Ameen (honest and trustworthy).
The PM’s aide added that the references had been prepared in light of the directions of the prime minister and would be sent to the NA speaker soon. Last month, the ruling PTI had issued show-cause notices to dissident lawmakers for joining the opposition parties, who brought a no-confidence motion against the PM.
In the notices, the ruling party reminded the dissidents that they were bound to follow the directions issued by the PTI as its member. It asked the lawmakers to explain within seven days about giving the impression that they were about to leave the party.
“It is abundantly clear from the provisions of Article 63-A(1) that you are bound to follow the directions issued by PTI as you are a member… and continue to be bound to follow the directions…” read a show cause notice issued to PTI MNA Afzal Khan Dhandla.
Earlier in the month, private TV channels aired footage of some PTI lawmakers staying at the Sindh House. A few members, including Dhandla, spoke to the media and expressed their lack of confidence in PM Imran. In one interview MNA Raja Riaz said that 24 PTI lawmakers were staying there.
The prime minister also spoke about the dissident lawmakers in his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony of 38.3-kilometre long Rawalpindi Ring Road Project. Without giving details, he said that estranged lawmakers would soon return to the party.