Return to the NA.

Imran Khan's hinted return to the National Assembly in order to enforce, through parliament, his party's demand for early elections has been enough to prompt the NA Speaker to take a hasty U-turn on his prior position on PTI MNAs' resignations.

While the PTI should never have absconded from the Lower House in the first place, it ought to have been welcomed if it wanted to re-enter the National Assembly and pursue its political goals from within.

Parliament has been largely defunct ever since the PTI walked out and left the job of opposition to the approximately two dozen 'dissidents' whose loyalties are believed to be with the PDM government anyway. That was an imprudent decision which should never have been taken. But despite insisting for months that the resigned MNAs should return to parliament and rejoin the formal political process, the PDM has suddenly gotten cold feet and would rather not see them anywhere near the House.

Mr Khan's plan appears to have been that a group of PTI lawmakers would be asked to return to the Lower House and take the leadership of PTI's parliamentary party back from the dissident group led by Raja Riaz, who is also the current Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly.

Doing so is necessary if the PTI wants to block the dissidents from voting for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in case he is asked to take a vote of confidence, as they will be bound to whatever direction is issued by the leader of their parliamentary party. The vote of confidence could...

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