Speaker tenders resignation Durrani advises governor to dissolve assembly

NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani on Monday advised the Governor for dissolution of the Provincial Assembly after members belonging to PML-Q, PPP-Sherpao and their independent allies withdrew their no-confidence motion against him.
This was announced at a press conference by the Chief Minister in his chamber in the provincial assembly building.
In the meanwhile, the Speaker of NWFP Assembly, Bakht Jehan Khan, quit his post due to severe differences between Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and JUI-F, the two larger components of the ruling alliance in the PA.
The chief minister dispelled the impression that JUI-F of Fazl-ur-Rehman had manoeuvred prevention of support of the provincial assembly to President General Pervez Musharraf and move the no-confidence motion against him, and blocked the dissolution of the legislature.
He signed the summary of dissolution of the provincial assembly under Article 112 of the constitution, advising the Governor to promulgate the dissolution order of the assembly with immediate effect. In case the Governor did not take immediate step, then, after the passage of the period of 48 hours, the assembly would automatically stand dissolved.
He defended the restraint from opting for tendering resignations from the house like other members belonging to All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) and Jamaat-e-Islami of Muthahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). He said that the decision regarding dissolution of Assembly was taken during the meeting of APDM held in Jhagra House, Peshawar, while later, in another meeting held on October 2 at the residence of Nisar Ali Khan, the leadership of the opposition’s grand alliance had decided that before dissolution the alliance would foil the no-confidence motion filed by the opposition.
He said that moving of no-confidence motion by the opposition had created constitutional hurdles in the dissolution of the provincial assembly.
Akram said that being the largest parliamentary party of MMA, Fazl-ur-Rehman was opposition leader in the National Assembly and with the same largest figures of members in NWFP Assembly he (Akram) was elected chief minister of the province. He said that the alliance has the same situation in Balochistan from where all MPAs belong to this party.
He said that the decision about dissolution of NWFP assembly was taken when Fazl was in Saudi Arabia for Umra.
The chief minister said that they were standing firm on the decision of the APDM and brought the matter of resignations to the notice of the leadership of ANP and NWFP Assembly Speaker to take decisions with consensus. But, the provincial amir of Jamaat-t-Islami, Siraj-ul-Haq, “neither made a telephone call to me nor turned to my residence”.
He said that the provincial government was determined to dissolve the assembly on October 5, and had asked the speaker to relax the rules to enable the treasury benches to express confidence in the leadership of chief minister and then go for the dissolution. He said that Anwar Kamal Khan of PML-N was supporting the Speaker against suspension of rules.
Earlier, the proceedings of the house resumed with Speaker Bakht Jehan Khan in the chair. All those members who had moved no-confidence motion against Chief Minister withdrew their motions one by one. They said that they had achieved the purpose behind moving no-trust move, which was to block the dissolution of the assembly. They said that through moving no-confidence motion they had ensured participation of NWFP Assembly members in presidential polls.
The house witnessed exchange of harsh speeches when Israrullah Khan Gandapur of PPP-Sherpao, through a point of order, said that after tendering resignations by 24 members of Jamaat-e-Islami and ANP and PML-N the chief minister has lost the confidence of majority. He requested the chair to give ruling that the Governor should ask the chief minister, under Article 130 (5), to seek vote of confidence from the house. The speaker also sought the assistance of the Advocate General. However, different members of the house gave different viewpoints over the matter and no one was ready to accept the views of the advocate general.
Due to objection raised by Provincial Minister for Transport, Akhtar Nawaz Khan, against the behaviour of the chair, speaker Bakht Jehan Khan staged a protest walkout from the house. However, later, on insistence of the opposition members, he returned and resumed the proceedings of the house.
Later on, he announced that in the light of the decision of the provincial executive committee of Jamaat-e-Islami he had decided to quit the post. Senior parliamentarian Abdul Akbar Khan, Ikramullah Shahid and opposition leader Gustasip Khan requested him not to quit his post. The speaker, however, before prorogation of the session, announced tendering of his resignation under article 53 clause (5) read with Article 127 of the constitution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2007