MQM, JUI-F withdraw motions seeking to de-seat PTI MNAs
Quelling political drama that had stretched out over several months, Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Ayaz Sadiq on Thursday informed the House that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has agreed to withdraw his party's motion to de-seat the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
The decision comes a day after the government said it had successfully managed to convince the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) to withdraw its resolution. Salman Khan Baloch moved the withdrawal motion on behalf of the MQM, while Naeema Kishwar Khan moved the same on behalf of the JUI-F. The NA also unanimously approved a new resolution to uphold the supremacy of parliament.
The resolution said the House will not allow the supremacy of the Constitution, the sovereignty of the parliament or the Islamic identity of the country to be harmed. The resolution which was moved by the JUI-F chief said it is compulsory for all political parties to respect the stature of the House.
Ayaz Sadiq said the MQM chief made the decision to withdraw the motion during a telephonic conversation the previous night. "I spoke to Altaf Hussain, not happily, but to talk to him about not issuing statements against the armed forces," he said.
The NA Speaker said, "Altaf Hussain told me that the army and armed forces are brothers ... I also spoke to him about the matter of de- seating PTI MNAs. He said he would consult his colleagues ... Later in the night, Altaf Hussain contacted me. I am happy to announce that the MQM has agreed to take back its de-seating motion in the greater national interest." He said that the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had also withdrawn his party's motion.
Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah said, "Today is a day of victory for the parliament." "We have not only only protected PTI but its supporters as well," Shah said, adding, "Maulana Fazlur Rehman has exhibited a great heart which is a positive sign for the days to come."
"The voters should not be punished for the mistakes of others," Shah said. "We will have to amend our attitude and move ahead." He added that taking back the motions is not a matter of loss of victory for anyone.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said, "The majority never deprives the minority from its right of difference of opinion." "When I reached home I was informed that PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari wanted to talk to me. I contacted him and apprised him of the details. He told me he was happy with the positive decision taken by our party."
"Similarly Rashid Godil of the MQM contacted me and said MQM chief Altaf Hussain wanted to talk to me. When I did manage to speak to Altaf Hussain, he reacted similarly to how all of you have just reacted here in the House," he said, referring of the House's positive reaction to the news.