Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will take oath in the Punjab Assembly tomorrow (Monday), said a statement issued by the disgruntled PML-N leader on Sunday.
“I have consulted my associates and the people of my constituency and will be taking oath in the Punjab Assembly tomorrow, on Monday,” the statement read.
Nisar clarified, however, that the move did not mean he had changed his stance and that he would neither take his salary, nor avail the perks provided to lawmakers.
He had contested the 2018 general elections from two NA and as many provincial seats, losing all but the PA-10 seat.
Nisar, who was once a close confidante of deposed premier Nawaz Sharif, had virtually said goodbye to the PML-N since his relations with the latter strained in 2017 over differences.
In his statement issued on Sunday, Nisar said that he had decided to take the oath almost three years after winning the PA-10 seat so as to take control of the political situation in his constituency.
The former interior minister added that stepping down as a lawmaker and then contesting by-elections would not have been a sensible move.
“And boycotting the election and leaving the field open [for opponents] would be a bigger mistake, especially when the general elections will be taking place after two and a half years.”
He further said that he was also mindful of the risk of the spread of Covid-19 during election campaigns and mass gatherings in case of him stepping down as a lawmaker and the subsequent scheduling of a by-poll.
Nisar’s decision has come amid the government’s plan to bring an ordinance for cancelling the membership of lawmakers who have not taken oath within the required period after winning the election.
His decision of not taking oath has also been challenged in the Lahore High Court.
A petition was filed in the court pleading to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-notify Nisar for his failure to take oath, and also order the federal and Punjab governments to amend the relevant laws and introduce a time frame for lawmakers-elect to take their oath.
The petitioner said that Nisar’s decision to not take his oath was a violation of the law of people’s representation.