ISLAMABAD  -   While Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Monday nominated its Balochistan-based MNA Qasim Khan Suri for the slot of Deputy Speaker National Assembly, the party expressed fears about the alleged use of money by the Opposition parties to win the support of MNAs in the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly.

Secretary Information PTI Fawad Chaudhry while talking to reporters at Bani Gala said that Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan had decided to nominate Qasim Khan Suri, the party’s provincial President of Balochistan chapter, for the slot of Deputy Speaker NA. Suri has defeated Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP)’s Chief Mahmood Khan Achkzai from NA-265, the constituency comprising the Quetta city.

At the same time, he said that some of the lawmakers have complained that they had been approached by the Opposition to get support for the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker NA that is scheduled to be held on August 15 through a secret balloting.

PTI who has now around 180 votes in the National Assembly and has a simple majority in the National Assembly feared that Opposition parties might purchase some of the votes of MNAs for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker election as the process is through secret balloting.

A PTI leader wishing anonymity said that some MNAs of the allied parties of PTI have been approached in this regard. Fawad Chaudhry said that there were some reports that heavy funds were being used for the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker. “We hope for better results and we will get more votes than our strength in the election of speaker NA,” he said.

He further said that there should be no sale and purchase in the secret voting of Speaker as it used to be happened in the past. “We are inquiring into the matter as some MNAs have been approached,” he said. Earlier, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his media talk also expressed such apprehensions and said that some MNAs had been approached to get their support.

He said that PTI did not want to be repeated the incidents of horse-trading that had happened in the last Senate elections and added: “If this happened, this would disgrace the Parliament.” 

He hoped that MNAs would not give importance if someone tried to purchase their votes.

Fawad Chaudhry in his media interaction also said that Chairman PTI has nominated party MPA Mushtaq Ghani as the Speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and MPA Mehmood Jan as the Deputy Speaker of the Provincial Assembly.

Ghani has won election from his hometown PK-39 (Abbottabad–IV) and he remained on the positions of Information Minister as well as Higher Education Minister respectively in the previous PTI government in KP. Mehmood Jan has been elected from his home constituency PK-66 (Peshawar-I).

The PTI spokesperson said that as part of the austerity drive of Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan, a Committee has been formed under the head of future Finance Minister Asad Umar to decrease government’s expenses.

Similarly, another Committee would also be formed under the Cabinet Division in this connection. He said that according to reports, PM House has fleet of around 80 vehicles, including 33 bulletproof vehicles. Similarly, PM House has around 530 employees while each Minister in the past had been using fleet of 8 to 10 vehicles. He also said that Governor and Chief Minister houses have many expenses and two parallel set-ups of Punjab House were being run in Islamabad and Rawalpindi simultaneously. 

In Murree, there is another similar set-up of Punjab govt while former Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif had declared seven houses in Lahore as Chief Minister houses, he added,

Fawad Chaudhry went on to add that the expenses of bureaucracy were not in millions but billions and the committee would give recommendations to reduce the government expenses.

The PM-in-waiting has instructed that his own expenses would remain at low, no protocol would be got but there would be no compromise on security, he said, adding, this austerity drive would be expanded in next coming days.

PTI Secretary Information said that they have planned to first publish a white paper on economy that the PTI had inherited and then we would announce steps for the revival of the economy.

He said that PTI had decided that Parliament would be the centre of all decisions.

Imran Khan would participate in the sessions of the Parliament and would be answerable to questions there, he added.

“Today Opposition in the maiden session of the National Assembly has the responsibility and we want to have had a good working relationship with it.”  PTI-led government would try to create such atmosphere that executive and legislature would work together, he said and hoped that Opposition would play a positive role in the Parliament.

He said that a decision has been taken that party meeting would be held two days after oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister and it would be decided to award tickets on eight seats of NA that have been vacated by the PTI MPs or it s allies.

About the delay in the nomination of Chief Minister Punjab, he said, the problem in the nomination was that such positions had already been decided by the PML-N.  PML-N already used to decide that elder brother would be Prime Minister and younger brother would be CM Punjab, he referred towards the former PM Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif. Now there are more contenders for the slot, he said.

Responding to a question, he said that no decision had been made on Governor KP.

Earlier, PTI’s nominee of Speaker NA Asad Qiaser said that Qasim Suri was an old face of the party and would help running the Lower House of the parliament in a smooth manner.

He has been in contact with Opposition parties in this regard, he added. Qasim Suri on this occasion said that his nomination would lessen sense of deprivation among the people of the province.

He thanked Imran Khan for reposing trust in him and vowed he would run the House smoothly.