‘Toothless’ opposition divided over no-trust

Ministers claim ruling party still enjoys backing of allies


Our Correspondent/APP February 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD:

The incumbent government on Sunday continued to insist that it was unfazed by its rivals’ plan to oust it, claiming that the “leaderless” and “toothless” opposition was still divided on the issue of the no-confidence motion in parliament.

Addressing a news conference in the federal capital, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid maintained that the opposition was indecisive about the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“They cannot decide whether they want to bring a motion against the National Assembly speaker, Senate chairman, Punjab chief minister or the prime minister,” he added.

He claimed that there was infighting among the opposition parties over the potential “spoils” of the no-trust move. “The opposition’s long march has started [the PPP one] and now nine days of the game are left.”
Speaking about the opposition’s efforts to dislodge the government, the minister questioned: “How much trust do opposition leaders have in each other?”

He claimed that those who were not willing to see each other’s faces were now meeting in the dead of night. “The government fully trusts its allies despite the opposition's efforts to convince them to support the no-trust move.”

Rashid said the federal government would provide full security to the long march staged by the opposition and not create hurdles to stop it.

He added that he met with the Punjab chief minister and decided that there would be no action against the opposition’s long march.  “The government will take good care of them.”

The minister said the opposition was playing a game of kabbadi, adding that the prime minister would win the no-trust move and emerge stronger.

Rashid noted that on one hand, the opposition was looking forward to bringing a no-trust move but on the other, it wanted to hold a sit-in in Islamabad.

“The opposition parties should decide what they want as people are fed up with their drama.”

Addressing a news conference in Pind Dadan Khan, Jhelum, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the "leaderless" and "aimless" alliance of the opposition parties posed no serious threat to the democratically elected government of the PTI.

“We have been hearing for the last 15 to 20 days that the no-trust move was around the corner, but in reality, this is beyond their power as they lack the capacity to bring the motion,” he added.

Describing the opposition’s current endeavour to oust the government as “futile”, the minister claimed that their leaders just wanted to keep their lawmakers engaged politically.

Read: No-trust motion likely in March

On the long marches of the opposition parties towards Islamabad, Fawad maintained that it seemed the PTI would have to provide them people for “face-saving and political survival”.

Referring to a viral video in which a female leader of the PPP could be seen riding a donkey cart with party workers, the minister quipped that he had already offered to provide them with “horses” and “donkeys” for the long march.

To a question, he claimed that PTI leader Jahangir Tareen stood by the party and would continue to support the government.

Commenting on the meetings between the government allies with the opposition leaders, the minister said politicians made their decisions by reviewing the evolving politics and future political discourse.

“Who will prefer to get along with the opposition that does not even know their leader or candidate for the slot of the prime minister?” he questioned. 

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