Friday, March 18, 2022
KARACHI: Ahead of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, around 24 members of the PTI are currently staying at the Sindh House, a move that has plunged the country into political chaos.
PTI's disgruntled member of the National Assembly Raja Riaz claimed on Thursday that if PM Imran Khan assures all MNAs that no action will be taken against those who decide to vote against him on the day of the no-confidence motion, they are ready to go back to the Parliament Lodges.
Speaking to Geo News, PTI MNAs Malik Nawab Sher Waseer and Riaz said that around 24 PTI members have been staying in the Sindh House right now. Riaz further said that "many other ministers are ready to come here."
Riaz, who is a member of the Jahangir Tareen group, told journalist Hamid Mir that the disgruntled members would vote for the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan in "accordance with their conscience."
Waseer also said he would not contest the next general elections on a PTI ticket.
While Riaz claimed that 24 members are staying in the Sindh House, Mir said that according to his counting, “20 PTI MNAs are present in Sindh House.”
The senior journalist said that several disgruntled leaders are avoiding the camera, however, he said that all of them have confirmed that the reason for "seeking refuge" at the Sindh House is out of fear.
"The disgruntled members fear that the government will take action against them similar to the March 10 raid by the police on the Parliament Lodges," Mir confirmed.
According to sources, PTI members who have currently "sought refuge" at the Sindh House include Raja Riaz, Nawab Sher Waseer, Rana Qasim Noon, Ghaffar Wattoo, Noor Alam Khan, Riaz Mazari, Basit Bukhari, Khawaja Sheraz, Ahmad Hasan Dehar, Nuzhat Pathan, Ramesh Kumar, and Wajeeha Qamar.
Sources added that a list containing the names of the MNAs staying at the Sindh House has been sent to PM Imran Khan.
Meanwhile, MNA Ramesh Kumar, has announced that he has parted ways with the PTI.
As reported by Geo News, Kumar has claimed that three federal ministers have quit the ruling PTI. He, however, did not reveal the names of the ministers.
PPP MNA Abdul Qadir Patel told Geo News that the disgruntled members of the PTI are "living peacefully in Sindh House," and “will leave after ousting Niazi [Imran Khan].”
Patel said that it is the MNAs' constitutional right to cast their votes and they are ready to see how many people PTI manages to gather for the March-27 jalsa. Holding a comparison, he said that a flood of people was seen during PPP’s long march.
Taking a jibe at Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, he said that he changes his stances depending on the party he is affiliated with. Claiming to have screenshots where the information minister was cursing PTI members, he said: “Fawad is doing his job and he is following the practice of multinational companies. Whenever he finds a good package, he switches his place.”
MNA Noor Alam Khan said that names of all the members of the National Assembly should be "immediately" added to the exit control list (ECL).
He further said that the PTI leaders are only speaking about 10-12 MNAs, however, “we are more.’ Khan further mentioned that MNAs staying in the Sindh House are not the only disgruntled members of PTI, as there are others too who are staying in their homes.
Reacting to Riaz's statement, Fawad said that some lotay (turncoats) have been identified after they feared that action would be taken against them.
Taking to his official Twitter account, the minister wrote: “Had they been conscientious, they would have tendered their resignations.”
He urged the speaker of the National Assembly to take action against these “traitors” and demanded a lifetime disqualification for them.
Earlier today, in a bid to thwart the Opposition’s no-trust move, the PTI's political committee meeting, headed by PM Imran Khan, decided that Islamabad's Sindh House will not be allowed to turn into a horse-trading hub, well-informed sources had revealed.
The Sindh House started making headlines after a federal minister accused the PPP of using the building for its "nefarious designs."
On March 14, federal minister Ali Zaidi had claimed that the PPP has deployed additional SSU commandos at the building "to protect the bags of looted wealth #ZardariMafia brought to try [and] bribe our MNAs!"
Following up on his statement, the PTI minister also wrote a letter to secretary establishment, demanding an immediate inquiry into SSU Sindh DIG Maqsood Memon.
Sources privy to the matter said that the meeting decided to strictly monitor the lawmakers and Sindh House to ensure that no one falls prey to horse-trading.
Civilian intelligence agencies were directed to closely observe the location, mobile phone data, and the movement of lawmakers, and report it to the premier on a daily basis.