'Time ripe for tabling no-trust motion', Fazl agrees with Zardari

Issue joint statement, saying collation partners are fed up with govt

Rizwan Shehzad   February 22, 2022


Former president Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday issued a joint statement, stating that the stage was all set for bringing a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan as the coalition partners were fed up with the incumbent government and that its lawmakers were in touch with the opposition.

In the first-ever meeting following the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) departure from the anti-government alliance – PDM, both the leaders discussed the strategy of pulling off a no-confidence motion against the premier amid the newly built opposition consensus and the opposition parties’ meetings with the coalition partners in order to gain their favour against the government.

The joint statement stated that both the leaders were of the opinion that the time had come for the “incompetent” rulers to go, adding that the people were also fed up with unemployment, sky-rocketing inflation and poor governance. They were of the view that the “selected government” had lost the trust of the people and all eyes were on the opposition now.

In the meeting after the PPP had parted ways with the PDM on the issue of en masse resignations from assemblies as well as bringing a no-confidence motion against the premier, among others, Fazl and Zardari reached a consensus that the opposition would move ahead after taking all relevant parties into confidence and completing the homework.

Read: Opposition’s no-trust plan 'gaining steam'

Sources in the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), the chief of which is Fazl, revealed that “convincing Maulana Sahib on the no-confidence motion is nothing less than an achievement by Zardari Sahib”, especially, keeping in line with what happened in the Senate during the passage of the mini-budget and how votes were wasted during the election of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman. JUI-F’s Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was contesting for the coveted position of deputy chairman but lost to a government-backed candidate despite having a clear edge.

“Maulana was reluctant but given the opposition parties’ consensus on the no-confidence motion, one [Maulana] has to accept majority’s decision,” the sources said. Commenting on Federal Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi’s statement in which the premier was advised to firmly quieten the ‘panic’ in his party over the no-confidence move, he said that Zardari has somehow assured Maulana that “the government allies are silently supporting opposition’s move”.

Recently, the opposition parties stepped up their efforts to bring a no-confidence motion against PM Imran and started approaching the coalition partners of the ruling party to the extent that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif visited the PML-Q leadership – Chaudhry brothers – at their residence after a gap of 14 years.

Read: ‘Ghabrana nahi’, PM advises opposition

In the past few weeks, the political temperature has been rising, especially after Zardari met Shehbaz at the latter’s residence and they subsequently started approaching other opposition parties as well as the government allies – PML-Q and MQM-P. On the one hand, the opposition parties’ meetings pushed the PML-Q and MQM-P to sit down and discuss the political volatility and, on the other hand, it also forced the government to kick-off public relations campaign led by the prime minister himself just ahead of the local bodies’ elections.

In the second round of the opposition parties’ meetings, the sources said that Zardari and Shehbaz would meet at Bilawal House in Lahore on February 22 (today), adding that Zardari would also host a dinner for the opposition parties’ leadership. Both Zardari and Shehbaz are expected to share details about their meetings with different stakeholders and assess the situation for moving ahead with the no-confidence motion.

In addition, the sources said that Zardari was also expected to meet Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq on February 24 at the JI’s headquarter in Mansoora, Lahore. It is said that Zadari would take Haq into confidence on the no-confidence motion and urge him to vote for the opposition when the time came. A meeting between the two leaders was scheduled for February 13 but got postponed after Zardari fell ill.


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