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Parliament to vote on membership of Imran’s party lawmakers

Islamabad: The fate of lawmakers of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party hangs in balance as the Parliament will decide the issue of their membership through voting.

More than 30 lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) resigned last year after the party launched protests to oust the government over alleged rigging in the 2013 polls, which were won comprehensively by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The resignations of lawmakers were not accepted as the speaker of the National Assembly demanded that every lawmaker should individually meet him to verify that the resignation was given voluntarily and not under party coercion.

The lawmakers finally returned to Parliament earlier this month after a deal between the government and protesters but some opposition parties objected that they had lost their membership under a law which states that absence from the House for 40 consecutive days results in termination of the membership.

A Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) legislator also moved a resolution for the ouster of lawmakers.

Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq announced yesterday that voting will be arranged in the house in the next session to decide the issue.

“If their membership to the NA were to be revoked now, the reason for such a step would be their absence from the House,” he said.

According to a MQM spokesman, the resolution was submitted in the assembly in accordance with Article 64 of the Constitution to “expose open violation of the Constitution and rules and regulations”.

Analysts believe that Khan’s party may survive the scare as both government and major opposition Pakistan People’s Party want to keep in the Parliament, as its ouster may result in mini elections which may divert the attention from key issues of combating militancy and reviving economy.

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