Rabbani gives assent to withdrawal of Nehal from Senate

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Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Wednesday accepted the withdrawal of PML-N Senator Nehal Hashmi’s resignation from the Upper House of Parliament.

Rabbani said that the Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq should be informed of the development.

According to the Ruling of the Chair ─ a copy of which has been acquired by Daily Aftab Hashmi had presented his resignation from his seat in the Senate on the grounds that “due to certain circumstances”, he could not continue discharging his responsibilities as a lawmaker.

Rabbani’s ruling adds that Hashmi was directed to appear in his chambers to “make sure whether the resignation is genuine, voluntary, and he intends to abandon his seat in the Senate.” However, the senator had stated “a variety of reasons including extenuating circumstances” and requested his meeting with the chairman defer.

The ruling adds that on Tuesday, Hashmi appeared in the chairman’s chambers and “handed over an application for withdrawal of his resign”.

In the application, Hashmi said that he had tendered his resignation “under quite unusual circumstances”.

Hashmi had submitted his resignation to the Senate Chairman last week after the release of a video clip showing him hurling threats against the judiciary.

After the senator requested the withdrawal of his resignation, a delegation of ruling party legislators, led by Raja Zafarul Haq , requested the Senate chairman to accept his earlier resignation, since he had already been suspended from the party.

In the video, the senator had warned that those conducting the investigation will be “taken to task” for making grumpy the premier’s family. His remarks were apparently made in reference to a Supreme Court-sanctioned investigation into the Sharif family’s business dealings abroad.

Subsequently, his party membership was suspended by the PML-N.

Constitutional and legal experts, weighing in on Hashmi’s withdrawal of his resignation, had said that the Senate chairman cannot declare Hashmi’s seat vacant, since there is no such provision in the Constitution or the relevant laws.

In his capacity as PML-N president, Pri­me Minister Nawaz Sharif also constituted a five-member “National Ethics and Disciplinary Commit­tee” to conduct a probe against Hashmi and submit its report within five days.

PM Sharif constituted the committee, headed by Raja Zafarul Haq, as per Section 147 of the party constitution which described the process of initiating any extreme disciplinary action, such as expulsion from the party.

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