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Imran Khan's party ends seven-month parliament boycott


Islamabad: The Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday announced it is ending its seven month boycott of the parliament and will attend a special session convened to discuss the crisis in the Middle East.

The former cricketer-turned-politician said he and the party lawmakers will attend the joint session of the parliament on Monday, Dawn online reported.

PTI lawmakers stayed away from the National Assembly since August last year as part of its protest against "rigging" in the 2013 parliamentary elections. The end of the boycott followed the Nawaz Sharif government accepting their demand to establish a judicial commission to probe the alleged rigging.

The commission to be comprised of Supreme Court judges will complete investigation within 45 days since its formation likely in few days.

"We had started a long-march from Lahore (the capital city of Punjab province) to demand a probe into the election. That demand when met, you will see us going back to assemblies," Imran Khan told reporters here after he presided over a meeting of the party leaders who decided to return to the parliament.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to hold a special session to discuss the Saudi-Yemen conflict amid speculation that Pakistan is likely to send troops to Saudi Arabia.

The PTI decision to end its boycott will end political tensions in Pakistan and will also strengthen the opposition's role in the parliament.

Former president Asif Ali Zaradri, who is the co-chairman of the main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, had urged Imran Khan on Saturday to return to parliament and work for electoral reforms to stop possibility of rigging in elections in the future.

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