NA speaker refers back motion against Imran Khan to Senate

* Imran and Ayaz were competing candidates in NA-122, which is one of four constituencies where PTI wants vote verification

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Tuesday referred back to Senate a privilege motion against PTI chief Imran Khan, asking its chairman to take a decision over it.
Imran Khan and Speaker Ayaz Sadiq were the competing candidates in NA-122 Lahore constituency May last year. NA-122 is one of the four constituencies where Imran wants verification of votes to determine transparency of the election. Imran lost to Ayaz in this constituency. Just a day back, Imran Khan demanded Ayaz’s resignation from the speaker’s office till the completion of the verification of votes after an election tribunal refused to reopen the constituency for vote recounts.
The speaker’s referral to Senate of the privilege motion against Imran Khan, which was moved by 26 senators for his use of derogatory remarks against them, is likely to add fuel to the simmering tensions between the two. The privilege motion was moved against Imran in February this year over his statement in which he said that most of the parliamentarians sell themselves for their interests. It was referred to the National Assembly where Imran Khan is a sitting MNA. Speaker Ayaz Sadiq ruled on Tuesday through a communiqué to Senate chairman that having considered the parliamentary practices and rules, the Senate chairman may proceed further in the matter in the Upper House. 
The speaker said that as the Senate has already taken cognisance of the matter, therefore, presiding officer (speaker) of the other house cannot do the same, particularly when its admissibility has already been taken by the Senate and nothing was left to be decided by NA speaker. Parliamentary sources told Daily Times that the speaker’s act of referring back the privilege motion to Senate for a decision apparently looked a neutral move, but was actually tantamount to allowing it to proceed against him.
Sources said that the speaker blurred the lines further by this act of throwing the ball in the Senate’s court as well as settling the scores with Imran Khan through a dignified and constitutional way. Parliamentary sources pointed out that heavens would not fall if the proceedings in a Senate committee start against Imran on this motion; but is has ethical implications where Imran has to prove his allegation against senators of being “sellable”. If Imran does not appear in the privilege committee of Senate, sources said it would tarnish his image as a believer in the constitutional norms and practices.

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