Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPAs on Tuesday accused the Intelligence Bureau (IB) head of tracing the location of legislators on the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with the intent to influence the Punjab chief minister’s election on July 22.
A resolution was also passed in the Punjab Assembly “session” chaired by Speaker Parvez Elahi, who is also PTI’s candidate for Punjab CM, against the “act” of the IB.
“The intelligence agencies of the government and other institutions are tracing the location of the opposition members. The state machinery is being used against the opposition and the government’s terrorism is at its peak. Our members are being pressurized. This house condemns the act of the federal government’s institution to threaten our MPAs,” said the resolution moved by Deputy Opposition Leader Raja Basharat.
It further added that the re-election of Punjab CM is being held on the directive of the Supreme Court and it is a sheer contempt of court to create hindrances in its smooth sailing and “our mandate should be respected”.
The PTI lawmakers were of the view that such tactics cannot save the government of Hamza Shehbaz. “Our women and workers were tortured on May 25 on the directives of the inspector general of police and we cannot forget it,” said Mussarat Jamshed Cheema.
“If any intelligence agency tries to abduct our MPAs, then we’ll not sit idle,” said Rana Shehbaz, another PTI MPA.
The lawmakers said that July 22 will be the last nail in the coffin of the PML-N when Parvez Elahi backed by the PTI will become the chief executive of the province.
The house also passed three bills, including the Lahore University Bill 2021, The Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Secretariat Services (Repeal and Revival) Bill, and The Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Privileges (Repeal and Revival).
The Elahi-led assembly has revoked the legislation done by the treasury during a parallel session held at Aiwan-e-Iqbal. The government had clipped the speaker’s powers by taking back his authority to punish the bureaucracy.
On Tuesday, Elahi once again restored the speaker’s judicial powers. Now, the speaker can summon bureaucrats in the Punjab Assembly and can also award them a punishment of up to six months if the privilege of any MPA is breached by the bureaucracy. In the second bill, the PTI MPAs restored the independent status of the Punjab Assembly.
Earlier, the government had put the Punjab Assembly under the law department. On Tuesday, Elahi said that these bills will help restore the sanctity of the house and those will be held accountable, who violated the sanctity of the house.
The legality of the session chaired by Elahi is still questionable as it wasn’t summoned by the governor and, therefore, lawmakers from the treasury benches are not participating in it.
Earlier in the day, addressing a press conference in the Punjab Assembly, Elahi alleged that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah is “using state institutions against us to influence the CM’s election”. He said that the IG and the chief secretary will be removed while they will also be punished after he will take oath as the Punjab CM.
Accompanied by PTI leaders, Elahi said that Hamza is no more able to do politics. PTI Parliamentary Leader Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed, who was seated next to Elahi, informed reporters that the party had endorsed Elahi as its nominee for the Punjab chief minister.
“A letter has been dispatched to all lawmakers at the directives of party chief Imran Khan and the party members will reach Lahore for a meeting which will be held today (Wednesday).”
He said Imran will also reach Lahore today and stay in the provincial capital for the next two days.
It has also been learnt that both the PML-N and the PTI are arranging special rooms for their MPAs in different hotels where they will be residing till the election of the CM.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had said that some PTI MPAs can be disappeared before the election to lessen the tally of Elahi in the run-off election.
Later, the PML-N and the allies also held their parliamentary party meeting chaired by Hamza Shehbaz to devise a strategy for the CM’s election. It was attended by PPP MPAs and the leader of the Rah-e-Haq party. The MPAs reposed their confidence in Hamza during the meeting. “We’ll not leave the field empty and will contest the election on July 22,” he said.
According to the number game, the PML-N has the support of 178 MPAs while PTI has the support of 188 MPAs.