President calls new National Assembly session on 13th

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has summoned the new session of the National Assembly on Aug 13, approving a summary sent to him by caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk for the purpose.

The prime minister forwarded the summary on Thursday after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) called upon the interim government to summon the session of the lower house so that the process of formation of the new government could take place.

The PTI also asked President Hussain to drop his plan to proceed to Ireland on a three-day official visit on Aug 16 as uncertainty prevails whether prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan can take the oath of his office on Aug 14 or not.

PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry expressed the hope that Mr Khan would take the oath between Aug 15 and 17. He said the absence of the president did not matter as Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani — who acts as acting president — could administer the oath of PM office to Imran Khan.

Media reports suggest that it is a desire of Mr Khan to take the oath on Independence Day — Aug 14.

Mr Chaudhry claimed that the PTI had secured 180 seats in the National Assembly to form its government at the Center. “There is no hurdle in Imran Khan’s way to become next prime minister of the country.”

He said the PTI had also won 186 seats of the Punjab Assembly out of total 372.

He said a meeting of the PTI’s Sindh parliamentary party had decided that the party would gift mega development projects to Karachi. He said Mr Khan had directed the party’s provincial leaders to focus on underdeveloped areas of interior Sindh.

PTI leader Naeemul Haq told the media that his party had demanded an early session of the National Assembly. In reply to a question, he said it was a job of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and not the PTI, to reopen constituencies and issue notifications of successful candidates.

On the other hand, sources in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) told Dawn that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif urged President Hussain and the governors of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to follow the example of ex-governor of Sindh Muhammad Zubair and step down from their offices.

However, sources close to the president told Dawn that Mr Hussain would not tender his resignation, but decided to leave for Ireland to attend an award-distribution ceremony of Royal Collage of Physician where he would also receive an honourary degree. One of the reasons behind the president’s visit is said to be an escape to avoid administering the oath to Imran Khan.

It has been learnt that soon after Imran Khan takes the oath as 21st prime minister of the country, the governors of three provinces are likely to step down.

Sources close to Nawaz Sharif told Dawn that he was unhappy and wondered why the president and three governors appointed by the last PML-N government were still sitting in their offices when Muhammad Zubair had resigned on July 28.

“Why they [president and three governors] stick to their seats when Zubair has stepped down,” the incarcerated PML-N supreme leader was quoted as telling some party leaders who had met him at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.

Mr Sharif was of the view that President Hussain should not administer oath to Imran Khan and resign immediately.

The PML-N leadership feared that that if the president and three governors did not resign, they could be removed by the new PTI-led government which would cause humiliation for the N-League.