Four MQM lawmakers, including Haider Abbas Rizvi, resign
By: Asim Yasin & Tahir Hasan Khan
ISLAMABAD: Four more MNAs of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), including Deputy Parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Haider Abbas Rizvi, have resigned after failing to submit affidavits to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on not having dual nationality.
The four MQM lawmakers who resigned include Haider Abbas Rizvi, Fauzia Ijaz, Tayyeb Hussain and Dr Nadeem Ehsan apparently in a move to avoiddisqualification.
According to the National Assembly Secretariat, all these MNAs cited “personal reasons” behind their resignations.The resignations have now been sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The MQM MNAs were among the 16 parliamentarians who failed to submit their affidavits regarding dual nationality by the deadline set by the ECP. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has appointed Haider Abbas Rizvi as his special assistant after his resignation as MNA.
Qaim Ali Shah has also appointed MQM MPA Khawaja Izharul Hasan as minister, but without a portfolio. Hasan took oath as a minister in the Sindh Assembly and is presently an adviser in the cabinet.
Four other MQM MPAs — Sports Minister Dr Muhammad Ali Shah, IT Minister Raza Haroon, Askari Taqvi and Abdul Moeed — have resigned from the Sindh Assembly.Dr Muhammad Ali has been appointed as special assistant to the CM and Haroon as adviser to CM, with both men retaining their portfolios.
The appointment of Dr Muhammad Ali, however, has made history because a special assistant has been given full ministerial status, whereas under the rules and procedures of the Sindh government, the post of a special assistant is equal to that of a grade 18 or 19 officer.
Meanwhile, two provincial ministers of the PPP who had relinquished their foreign nationality retook oath as ministers at the Governor House on Sunday.Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan administered oath to Syed Murad Ali Shah and Sadiq Memon after the chief minister had reappointed them in his cabinet, using the authority granted to him by Article 130, sub-section 9 of the Constitution.
Experts say under this article, both the ministers would be able to attend the assembly sessions, but would not be allowed to participate in any voting in the house. They would perform as ministers in the house, but would have no power to even say ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ in any division of the house, they added.
Finance Minister Shah and Vocational Training Minister Memon had resigned from the provincial assembly two days ago because they held dual nationality, and Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuhro had accepted their resignations.
The ministers had not filed the declaration about their dual nationality in time, despite an extension in the deadline. The election commission had stated the members would be declared as unseated if they failed to submit their declarations by the final date.
Murad Ali Shah told this correspondent that it was binding on him to contest the elections since he had already surrendered his dual nationality and now he was a Pakistani only.