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PTI’s Ayub Afridi resigns as senator ‘to clear path for Tarin’s elections’

Afridi submitted resignation to Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. (Source: Geo)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Ayub Afridi on Tuesday resigned from the upper house of parliament reportedly “in a bid to pave way for Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin to become a member of parliament”, several media outlets reported.

Muhammad Ayub Afridi submitted his resignation to Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.  Senate Secretariat has declared Afridi’s seat vacant and issued a notification to which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has also been informed.

As per the rules, when a seat falls vacant, the electoral body is bound to hold elections on it within 30 days. Afridi, in a video message, said Prime Minister Imran Khan had previously expressed the wish for him to resign, which is why he took the step now.

“The prime minister told me to wait due to the joint session of parliament and after that he told me to resign. This seat was entrusted to me by the party and the prime minister and I happily returned it,” he added.

Afridi said he would have no objection if the prime minister did not give him any official responsibility. “If given the opportunity by the prime minister I would serve the nation and the country,” Afridi added.

According to media reports, the government is planning to get Shaukat Tarin, the premier’s finance adviser, elected to Senate on the seat vacated by Afridi to ensure he can become the finance minister again.

Tarin was appointed as the finance minister on April 17 and his constitutional tenure ended on October 16 after which he was appointed as the finance adviser to the PM. According to the Constitution, in order to continue as the finance minister for longer than six months, Tarin needed to be elected to parliament.

The PTI government was also eyeing the Senate seat of PML-N’s Ishaq Dar who has not taken oath as a senator due to his self-imposed exile in London.

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