LAHORE  -   Is Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, MPA-elect from PA-10 in the July last year’s general election, constitutionally allowed to take oath as a member of the Punjab Assembly some nine months after the poll?

The question has arisen following reports that the former interior minister is likely to take oath during a session of the provincial legislature beginning on Monday (today).

Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja told The Nation on Sunday that the Constitution, Rules of the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Rules of Procedure of the Punjab Assembly are silent on the subject and set no deadline for a member-elect to take oath.

Therefore, he said, the leader from Chakri was free to take oath whenever he likes.

A former secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan Kanwar Dilshad also endorsed the same view.

However, he said, a member-elect of the National Assembly was bound to take oath in 14 days but there was no timeline for a member-elect of the provincial legislature.

He recalled that Begum Kulsoom Nawaz was elected as a member of the National Assembly from a Lahore seat (NA-120) on Sept 17, 2017 but she did not take oath till her death on Sept 11, 2018 at a London clinic. He said the ECP had not declared her seat vacant.

Raja Basharat said that the Punjab Assembly had passed a resolution during the previous session of the Punjab Assembly seeking de-notification of Chaudhry Nisar as a member-elect from PA-10 and sent it to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The ECP, so far, has taken no action in the light of the resolution.

It may be recalled that Chaudhry Nisar and Mian Shehbaz Sharif had a dream to work together as Punjab chief minister and prime minister, respectively. However, the dream did not come true because of the changing political situation in the country.

Nisar parted ways with the PML-N at the time of the last year’s general elections, after working together for more than three decades.

Of the four seats (two NA and two PA) he had contested, he won only the provincial seat (PA-10). However, he was reluctant to take oath as an ordinary MPA.

He had once said that taking oath as member of the Punjab Assembly would mean that he had accepted validity of the last general elections.

After staying away from the Punjab Assembly for some nine months, Nisar is expected to take oath as a member at a time when there are reports of a likely political change at the top level.

The PTI circles, however, deny such reports.