K-P opposition in no mood to avert dissolution

PESHAWAR: A day after Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi signed the summary for the dissolution of the provincial assembly, matters are picking up steam in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where CM Mahmood Khan is expected to follow suit on Saturday (today) by sending his own summary to Governor Haji Ghulam Ali, advising him to disband the provincial assembly.

On the other hand, the opposition in the K-P Assembly has also signalled its willingness to take the challenge on its chin and decided against tabling a no-trust motion against the chief minister to forestall the dissolution of the assembly.

Speaking to reporters in Peshawar on Friday, PML-N deputy parliamentary leader and provincial spokesperson Ikhtiar Wali Khan claimed that the chief minister should stop requesting the opposition members to file a no-confidence motion against him to stop the dissolution of the legislature.

“He [Mahmood Khan] should show courage and go ahead with it [dissolution of the provincial assembly],” he added.

The PML-N leader added that his party would expose the “corruption” committed by the PTI government in the province of K-P and prepare for the elections with the slogan of “accountability”.

The PML-N leader was apparently referring to the impression that the K-P chief minister was not ready to let go of power yet.

According to PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan’s announcement, the process for the dissolution of the K-P Assembly would be initiated after it was completed in the provincial legislature of Punjab.

‘Govt left with no option’

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the K-P Chief Minister on Information Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif also announced that the summary would be sent to the governor for the dissolution of the provincial assembly on January 14.

He added that after the dissolution of the K-P Assembly, a letter would also be written to the leader of the opposition, Akram Khan Durrani, for the appointment of a caretaker chief minister.

He said the federal government has found itself in an inescapable predicament whereby it was left with no choice but to go for the inevitable option of holding fresh elections. “The nation is eager to get rid of this imported government so it can heave a sigh of relief.”

Saif went on to explain that while there was no hurdle in dissolving the provincial assembly forthwith, it would be nonetheless disbanded after the process is completed in Punjab.

Governor to go by Constitution

On the other hand, the K-P governor also indicated his willingness to enable the PTI’s plan by going by the constitutional procedure, saying that if he received the summary from the chief minister, he would decide on it in accordance with the Constitution.

However, the governor still stood by his stance that assemblies should not be dissolved.

“The news about dissolving the Punjab Assembly was reported. It will be abusive to both the people and the country. We should show patience and tolerance considering the conditions of the country. This egoism is not in the public interest at all,” he said.

He added that the Punjab chief minister had sent a recommendation to the province‘s governor to fulfil the constitutional process for the dissolution of the assembly, but people who cared about the public, as well as the national interests, never made such decisions.

In any case, if the K-P CM sends a summary to the governor on January 14 and the latter does not sign it, the provincial assembly will still stand dissolved as soon as 48 hours are completed on January 16.

The constitutional term of the current K-P Assembly started on August 13, 2018, and there are still seven months left to complete its tenure.

The last time the K-P Assembly was dissolved was in October 2007 during the government of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).

After internal rifts emerged within the MMA and the re-election of then-president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf from the legislatures, then K-P CM Akram Khan Durrani had sent a summary to the governor for the dissolution of the provincial assembly.

Former Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) chairman Shamsul Mulk was appointed the caretaker chief minister after the dissolution of the assembly back then.

A day earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi had signed the summary for the dissolution of the provincial assembly.

The advice to dissolve the assembly came less than 24 hours after the chief minister obtained the vote of confidence from the Punjab Assembly in the wee hours of Thursday.

There were reports that the Punjab CM too had asked the opposition to file a no-confidence resolution against him to delay the dissolution of the assembly.

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