Tuesday, March 08, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The Opposition has submitted the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly Secretariat, Geo News reported Tuesday, citing PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.
A total of 86 lawmakers from the Opposition parties have signed the no-confidence motion, sources said. JUI-F's Shahida Akhtar Ali, PML-N's Khawaja Saad Rafique, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique and PPP's Naveed Qamar and Shazia Marri submitted the no-trust motion and requisition for a session to the NA Secretariat.
Meanwhile, the three bigwig Opposition leaders — PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N's Shahbaz, and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman — will address a press conference later today, sources said.
In a major development, former senior minister Punjab Aleem Khan joined Jahangir Khan Tareen's PTI faction a day earlier as he had reservations with the prime minister, but did not specify whom will the group support once the no-confidence motion is moved.
The Opposition is confident of having the numbers to remove PM Imran Khan, sources said, adding that they are claiming of having the support of 202 National Assembly members.
The Opposition has claimed that they have the backing of 28 PTI lawmakers and others from an ally of the government, sources said.
At least 16 PTI lawmakers have the support of PML-N, four with PPP, and two with JUI-F, sources said.
Meanwhile, six more members from the PTI are in contact with the PML-N, sources said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan summoned the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) at the Prime Minister's House to discuss legal aspects as the Opposition tabled the no-trust move against him. According to sources, the AGP briefed the premier regarding the legal implications of the move.
In a consultative meeting after the submission of the no-trust motion, the ruling party vowed to foil the Opposition’s bid to de-seat PM Imran Khan.
The huddle, attended by the PM and federal ministers, including Asad Umar and Shafqat Mehmood, was informed that all the party members and allies are united under Imran Khan’s leadership.
It was decided that the prime minister will visit MQM-P’s office in Karachi.
“Opposition will be defeated and we are not scared of no-trust motion,” PM Imran Khan told the participants.
He said that the government is focused on performance.
A key player in the Punjab riddle, the Jahangir Khan Tareen group, also held its meeting today with their leader chairing the session through a video link from London.
Tareen is in the UK for medical treatment for the last couple of weeks but holding regulation meetings with his loyal parliamentarians after both the government and the Opposition sought their support for a no-trust move.
Speaking to the media after the group’s meeting, convened to discuss the no-confidence motion tabled in the National Assembly, Punjab MPA Nauman Langrial said they will only be held on minus-Buzzdar formula.
Answering a question about their nominee for the new Punjab chief minister, after the removal of Usman Buzdar, Langrial said Tareen will decide the matter.
Langarial said that the faction has given the authority for all the decisions to Jahangir Tareen. "We have also told Aleem Khan that he will have to abide by the decisions of Tareen. There will be no disagreement on his decision.”
He said that the faction has been contacted by various parties.
“Every member of the Tareen group agrees that talks can only proceed if the minus-Buzdar formula is adopted.
The MPA said that the group has come up with a mandate, and is thinking well for the nation and PTI.
He further said that Tareen will decide whether Aleem Khan will be the chief minister or not.
Speaking to a select group of YouTubers today, the prime minister said he was confident that the government was not going anywhere and that this was the Opposition's last move.
"After this, nothing will happen against this government till 2028 [...] Opposition will face a humiliating defeat," the prime minister said.
The prime minister said he knows Jahangir Tareen — who has had sour ties with the PTI — and he would never support "thieves".
"My lawmakers are being offered Rs180 million [for supporting no-confidence motion]. I told them to take the money and distribute it among the poor."
PM Imran Khan said CM Buzdar was an easy target, and that's why he was being targeted.
Endorsing the PTI leaders' narrative of international conspiracy behind Imran Khan's removal, the premier said people who do not want an independent foreign policy would support the no-confidence motion.
The Opposition's heightened activities are backed by money, he claimed.
"The army stands with me, it will never support thieves [...] and since the people are not backing the Opposition anymore, they are claiming that the establishment is supporting them," he said.
"A mind game is going on right now, and I am a master at it," he said.
While addressing at a ceremony in Rawalpindi's Fatima Jinnah University earlier today, PM Imran Khan had said he was ready for everything the Opposition throws at him.
"The powerful desires NRO and threaten to topple the government if they don't get it but I will not give them that as long as I am alive," PM Imran Khan said.
“Once again, I make it loud and clear that I will not extend the gang of thieves and dacoits any relief in the shape of NRO (national reconciliation ordinance),” he said.
Separately, a PML-N parliamentary party meeting was held earlier today where the party president, Shahbaz Sharif, had announced the plan for submitting the no-confidence motion.
During the meeting, PML-N lawmakers were asked to remain in Islamabad for at least 20 days, sources said. The party members were warned that their absence during the tabling of the no-confidence motion would not be tolerated.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting of the Opposition leaders at Zardari Hosue a day earlier, PML-N's Rana Sanaullah said he was "100%" sure that the no-confidence motion against the government would be successful.
"We will soon be relieved of this curse; the leaders will announce the decisions that were made today," the former provincial minister said.