Opposition demands KP speaker’s resignation

PESHAWAR: Lawmakers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) demanded on Tuesday that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser resign following a probe initiated by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against him.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s own lawmaker and former minister for mines and minerals Ziaullah Afridi was also in favour of Qaiser’s resignation from the chair of the speaker to save the house’s decorum.

The demands came during a debate in the K-P Assembly over NAB’s inquiry on a complaint registered against Qaiser for allegedly making assets beyond his known sources of income and misusing his powers for illegal appointments.

PML-N parliamentary leader in the house Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota raised the issue and criticised the PTI chairman for insulting his party’s leader Nawaz Sharif on Panama Leaks case and calling him a ‘thief.’

He asked the PTI chief Imran Khan to ask Qaiser to resign in the same way he asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to leave office when the Panama papers surfaced.

“We expect PTI chairman to ask the speaker to resign and we expect him [Imran Khan] to tell his own party to get ready for searching as he said to PML-N on Panama leaks,” he said.

He said that his party did not opt for holding sit-in on Qaiser’s issue as they do not believe in such politics but the PTI chairman should present his party for accountability as Nawaz Sharif presented himself in the Panama case.

PTI leader Shah Farman said that NAB receives 200 complaints on daily basis and later drops majority of the complaints which are filed on mala fide intention after analysing them.

Farman called the complaint mala fide, saying that the allegations are baseless.

“The allegations in the complaint are like claims made by speakers in a rally,” he said criticising NAB for leaking the complaint to media.

He then threatened registering 200 such complaints and then releasing them to media if the Pandora’s Box was opened. “If the complaint is a political track then it should be stopped,” he said.

Farman’s comments angered PML-N lawmaker Rashad Khan who replied that Qaiser should resign to save the decorum of the chair and face allegations against him.

K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak tried to defend Qaiser in his speech saying that the complaint is unnamed and Qaiser assets have complete trail.

“He is neither accused nor convicted,” Khattak said adding that NAB should have kept the complaint secret rather than insulting the sacred chair of the speaker.

Khattak said that they are making changes in the K-P Ehtesab Commission Act and giving the director general’s appointment powers to the chief justice of Peshawar High Court.

By Sohail Khattak Published in Express Tribune

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