Thursday Jan 05, 2023
Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi Thursday ruled out following Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman's orders for taking a vote of confidence and termed the directions "illegal".
In a press conference in Lahore, the chief minister said: "I don't accept the letter that the governor has written for the vote of confidence. If I take the vote of confidence, then it means that I am accepting the letter."
The move will likely intensify the political turmoil in Punjab, which came to a halt after the Lahore High Court (LHC) reinstated Elahi as the CM following his de-notification by the governor.
The court reinstated Elahi on December 23 and adjourned the hearing till January 11. Although it restricted the CM from dissolving the assembly, the court said its order would not stop Elahi from taking a vote of confidence.
As a result, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — an ally of Elahi — started working and the party's leaders claimed that the CM would take the trust vote before January 11 — the hearing's date.
But problems have arisen for the CM after independent lawmaker Syeda Zahra Naqvi said she was an ally of PTI and not Elahi, The News reported, with three members of the PTI also set to rebel against the party's decision to back the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader.
"The governor wants me to follow his illegal order, but I will not do it," the chief minister said, as the ruling coalition in Punjab scrambles to ensure his position.
CM Elahi said the authorities were still investigating the confession statement of the suspected shooter who allegedly tried to assassinate PTI Chairman Imran Khan in Wazirabad during the long march in November.
"However, the IG isn't present here as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has sent him to America," the chief minister claimed, highlighting that the centre was creating hurdles for Punjab in investigating the incidents surrounding the assassination bid.
Khan was shot in the leg as he waved to crowds from a truck-mounted container while leading a protest march to Islamabad to pressure the government into announcing an early election — but it was cut short in Rawalpindi.
In a new claim surrounding the events of the assassination, PTI Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry has claimed the bid to kill Khan was carried out by three attackers, all of whom struck him from three different sides.
But Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that there was only one person involved in the bid and rejected the PTI's assertions.