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PTI lawmakers threaten to resign if Shehbaz contests PM's election

PTI lawmakers threaten to resign if Shehbaz contests PMs election
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Islamabad: Ousted Premier Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf announced on Sunday that its lawmakers would resign on Monday if Opposition candidate Shehbaz Sharif was allowed to contest election of the Prime Minister. The announcement was made by senior party leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry while addressing the media after the meeting of PTI's Core Committee chaired by Khan.

"If our objections on Shehbaz Sharif's (nomination) papers are not addressed then we will resign tomorrow," he said, adding that it was decided at the meeting. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz on Sunday nominated himself for the post of Prime Minister. The process of electing the new leader of the House began on Sunday after Khan was removed from office through a no-confidence vote. Shehbaz is likely to be elected as Khan's successor in the National Assembly on Monday. In the House of 342, the winner would need 172 votes to become the new Prime Minister. Chaudhry also said that the PTI fielded former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi against Shehbaz to let the party challenge the candidacy of the joint opposition candidate.

He said Shehbaz would be contesting the election for the Prime Minister on the same day when he would be indicted in a money laundering case. "What can be more insulting for Pakistan that a foreign selected and foreign imported government is imposed on it and a person like Shehbaz is made its head," he said. Chaudhry was referring to the decision of a special court of the Federal Investigation Agency which had announced to indict Shehbaz and his son Hamza in the Rs14 billion money laundering case on April 11. Meanwhile, the objections by the PTI were rejected by the National Assembly Secretariat, clearing Shehbaz as well as his rival Qureshi for the contest. Chaudhry also said that the no-trust motion had been a conspiracy. "We think this is a slap on (the face of) people of Pakistan. We reject it. The whole nation expects leadership from Imran Khan and expects from PTI that they'll come out on streets (against) this foreign conspiracy," he said.

Sajjad Hussain
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