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No assembly session can be called without notifying reserved seats, says Imran Khan’s party


ISLAMABAD: Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s party on Tuesday said that no provincial assembly session can be called without notifying the reserved seats, a day after the assemblies of Punjab and Sindh were summoned and the chief ministers were sworn-in. Speaking to the media here, the 71-year-old Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leader, Barrister Gohar Khan, said the new provincial assemblies should be convened after all the members of the House are notified, the Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying.
“The Punjab [Assembly] session was carried out in an illegal manner. The Sindh Assembly session was carried out illegally. If the National Assembly session is called, that will also be illegal because the assemblies should be convened after all the members of the House are notified,” he said.
He urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to notify the reserved seats for the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), with which his party has entered a formal agreement.
Khan’s party could not directly participate in the February 8 general elections due to the non-allotment of its iconic electoral symbol – the cricket bat. To receive the party’s share of reserved seats, candidates of the PTI – who fought as independents and won the elections – formally joined the SIC.
The SIC is an alliance of Islamic political and religious parties in the Muslim-majority country, representing followers of the school of Sunni Islam.
The Election Commission of Pakistan will hold an open hearing on Tuesday of the PTI-backed SIC’s plea seeking the allocation of its share of reserved seats in the national and provincial assemblies.
On Monday, President Alvi rejected a summary from the caretaker parliamentary affairs ministry to summon the first session of the newly elected National Assembly session on February 29.
Alvi maintained that all reserved seats be allocated before the summoning of the session in which newly-elected members of the National Assembly will take oath.
After the denial by Alvi – a close aide of PTI founder Khan and a former senior member of his party – National Assembly outgoing Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf decided to convene the lower House of Parliament session on February 29.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Assembly session on Monday saw the election of Maryam, the 50-year-old senior vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, as the first-ever woman chief minister of Pakistan’s most populous province. .
Later in the day in Sindh, senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader Murad Ali Shah was reelected as the new chief minister of the province after securing 112 votes out of 148 total cast during voting for the coveted position.
Though independents backed by the PTI won majority seats at the National Assembly in the February 8 general election, the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government, which may effectively end Khan’s chances of returning to power.
Khan’s party has rejected the attempts by the PML-N and the PPP to form a coalition government, warning that robbing its public endorsement by the “mandate thieves” will result in the worst political instability.
Independent candidates – a majority backed by the PTI party — won 93 National Assembly seats.
The PML-N won 75 seats, while the PPP came third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has 17 seats.

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