Islamabad [Pakistan], January 24 (ANI): Pakistan's National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf approved the resignation of over 40 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers in the lower house, according to Geo News citing sources.
According to the sources, Ashraf accepted the resignation of 43 more from PTI on Sunday and sent the summary to the Election Commission of Pakistan for the lawmakers' de-notification.
The approval means that only dissident PTI lawmakers remain in the National Assembly now.
Interestingly, this development came a day after the party announced that 45 PTI MNAs are withdrawing their resignations and also approached the ECP in this regard.
According to the sources, the resignations of Muhammad Nawaz Allai and Sardar Talib Hassan Nakai were not accepted as they had submitted leave applications.
Meanwhile, the PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary said that the main reason to return to the National Assembly was to remove Raja Riaz as the opposition leader otherwise the legislature had "no importance," Geo News reported.
"Right now, Shehbaz Sharif has lost the support of 172 members and is relying on lotas (turncoats) to save his government," tweeted Fawad.
40 per cent of NA seats are now vacant as a result of the speaker's move to save Raja Riaz, he added.
"Country is close to polls now. The only solution to this problem is general elections," said Fawad.
On Monday, PTI lawmakers had requested the ECP that they should not be denotified if Speaker Ashraf approves their resignations.
The PTI lawmakers had tendered their resignations after the Imran Khan-led government was ousted via a no-confidence motion in April of last year.
The PTI had claimed resignations were accepted by former deputy speaker Qasim Suri in absence of the speaker after Asad Qaiser's resignation.
The PTI resignations were accepted by NA Speaker Ashraf in four stages. Initially, only 11 resignations were accepted, while 34 resignations were accepted on January 17, another 35 on January 20 and now 43 have been approved, according to Geo News. (ANI)