Thursday Mar 10 2022

PTI prepares strategy to counter Opposition’s no-trust motion

A view of National Assembly. -APP
A view of National Assembly. -APP
  • PTI MNAs and allies will miss the no-trust motion session in NA, says Babar Awan.
  • "I don't have a vote, therefore I, too, will go," says PM's aide.
  • Fawad Chauhdry requests NA Speaker to convene session earlier.

ISLAMABAD: Amid heightened political activity from the Opposition seeking support for its no-trust motion, the ruling PTI has announced its strategy to counter the move by skipping the National Assembly session.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Babar Awan, said in an interview with Dawn News TV on Wednesday that MNAs from the ruling coalition would not be present in the National Assembly on the day the Opposition's resolution for the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan would be taken up for voting.

Only NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, according to Babar Awan, will be present for the session, adding, "I don't have a vote, therefore I, too, will go." 

According to the PM's adviser, the session for voting on the no-confidence motion will most likely be held elsewhere than the usual location because "the floor of the House where sessions take place is being renovated."

"Maulana (Fazlur Rehman) has called on Biden for help, and in this situation, it is now apparent from where the agenda is being run and backing [is coming]," he said, implying that a foreign hand was behind the opposition's no-trust move.

At the same time, Awan said the prime minister was correct to criticise European Union countries for pushing Pakistan to vote against Russia during a recent extraordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly.

"There has never been an example of diplomats engaged in an act like this in the history of the world," he said. 

According to Awan, a senator from the JUI-F had even submitted a motion asking the House to investigate why PM Imran had disrespected foreign missions. "So the agenda is set," he said.

In response to the Opposition's claim that it had enough votes in the NA for the no-confidence resolution to pass, he cited previous instances in which the government had defeated the Opposition in parliamentary votes, arguing that the government had an advantage in the "numbers game."

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain requested the speaker to convene the NA session earlier for the no-confidence motion, as the country needed political stability and could not afford a prolonged crisis.

Speaking here at a joint news conference with Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Fawad threw a challenge to the joint opposition to show before the media even 172 MNAs so that everybody could come to know who those people were. 

He insisted that the onus was on them to prove how many members were supporting them.

Regarding the government’s allies, he said the prime minister’s meeting with the allies in Karachi was good, and the one held with the PML-Q leadership a few days back was also very good, and that the allies were with the government and the matters were under control.

He claimed that the prime minister enjoyed the support of 179 members and, with the arrival of five more, there would be 184 MNAs. 

However, he did not further elaborate. 

The minister again urged the NA speaker to convene the assembly session as early as possible so that the government could take more measures to deal with the financial crisis.