Bilawal gives PM Imran five days to step down

Zardari, Fazl unable to agree on date of tabling the no-trust move

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. PHOTO: PPP MEDIA CELL


PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday issued a five-day ultimatum to Prime Minister Imran Khan to either step down or dissolve the assemblies to pave the way for fresh elections in order to avoid the wrath of his marchers coming to Islamabad.

However his father, party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the president of the opposition alliance the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), could not agree on a date for tabling the no-confidence motion against the government.

Addressing the participants of his Islamabad-bound Awami March on its fifth day in Ahmedpur Sharqia and Lodhran, Bilawal said it was the success of his people that all opposition parties had agreed to the option of moving a no-confidence motion in parliament.

“The people have shown their lack of confidence in this government. Now, it is time for the parliamentarians to show it too,” he added.

The PPP chairman said the parliamentarians in treasury benches should also decide whether to support the people of the country or this “puppet leader”.

“This is the last chance for the coalition partners to withdraw their support for the Imran Khan-led regime and absolve themselves of their three years of sin they had committed by supporting this incompetent and selected regime.”

Bilawal warned the coalition partners that they would have no future in politics if they did not support the no-trust motion.

He said after sending the PTI-led government home, the new set-up would introduce electoral reforms.

He also gave credit for the recent decrease of fuel and electricity price to his march.

“It was because of the pressure of the march that the government had to bring the prices down.”

The PPP Awami March started from Karachi on February 27. The marchers travelling through Thatta, Sajawal, Badin, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Khairpur, Sukkur and Ghotki reached Rahimyar Khan on Thursday.

The PPP chairman delivered five addresses on Thursday and camped in Multan for the night. Bilawal made his first speech in Liaqat Pur Bela, the second and third at Ahmedpur Sharqia, fourth at Lodhran and fifth at Bahawalpur Bypass in Multan.

Addressing the rally in Ahmedpur Sharqia, Bilawal maintained that PM Imran could divert the people of Waseb from their desire for a separate province by setting up secretariats in different cities.

“Only the PPP can and will fulfil the province of south Punjab.”

He added that the people of southern Punjab should be given the right to have a province, elect their senators, receive their share from the National Finance Commission and have their own chief minister.

Addressing the participants in Lodhran on his way to Multan, the PPP chief claimed that his party had given the country democracy, its Constitution, nuclear power, rights to labourers and growers, Benazir Income Support Programme to women and employment. “The PPP believes in a prosperous grower that makes the country prosperous. If Pakistan is an agricultural country, then why farmers are forced to sleep hungry? Why he is not getting the return for his crops?”

Separately, the PPP co-chairperson and the JUI-F chief could not agree on a date for introducing the no-trust move. The former president met the PDM president in Islamabad and the huddle lasted more than three hours. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Fazl said the draft of the no-confidence motion had been prepared and claimed that the majority of MNAs were supporting it.

He noted that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had invited the PML-Q leadership to a dinner at his residence. “Why they [Chaudhry brothers] couldn’t make it [to the dinner]? This is a thing. It shouldn’t have happened.”

To a question about Bilawal, the JUI-F chief said the PPP chairman was unaware of the situation as he was travelling.

The Maulana urged other countries, Muslim states in particular, not to treat PM Imran as a representative of Pakistan and accord him the status of a premier.

He further said Shehbaz was ill and in Lahore, where further consultations would take place.

“It has been decided to table the no-confidence motion in a day or two.”

A statement issued after the Zardari-Fazl meeting read that the two leaders discussed the overall political situation in the country as well as the no-trust motion and Shehbaz, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, participated in it via video link from Lahore.

It added that consultations were under way between the opposition parties and legal experts had given their opinion on the no-confidence motion.

It further read that the date of tabling the no-trust motion had to be finalised on Thursday, but that could not happen because of Shehbaz’s illness. Now the date will be finalised in a day or two.


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