Pak’s Punjab crisis deepens as Speaker Elahi takes away Deputy’s powers

The confrontation between Pakistan’s Punjab Assembly Speaker and Deputy Speaker took another turn after the Speaker Parvaiz Elahi issued a notification on Wednesday depriving Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari of all his powers, Samaa TV reported.

They came face to face over the Assembly session to elect a new Chief Minister.

According to the notification, all powers of the Deputy Speaker have been taken away effective immediately under the rule of 25.

Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) submitted a no-confidence motion against the Deputy Speaker, who ironically is also a PTI MPA, and PML-Q allegedly gathered its workers in Lahore to attack MPAs.

The move angered Deputy Speaker Mazari and he, with around 15 MPAs, is planning to support Hamza Shahbaz Sharif against Pervaiz Elahi, the report said.

Formation of Mazari-led group would worsens disintegration of the PTI, which has already seen three disgruntled groups led by Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan, and Ghazanfar Chheena.

Mazari had called the Punjab Assembly session for Wednesday evening. However, Speaker Pervaiz Elahi, who is also the PTI candidate for chief minister-slot, blocked Mazari’s efforts.

The Speaker on Tuesday rescheduled the session from April 6 to April 16, citing ongoing repair work in the Assembly, after the commotion last week.

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