Imran undaunted amid no-trust hype

PM expresses confidence in party lawmakers, says homework is complete to defeat opposition plan

Rizwan Shehzad March 06, 2022


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday threw down the gauntlet to the opposition parties for bringing a no-confidence motion against his government, saying that he had confidence in the party’s lawmakers and homework was complete to defeat the opposition parties’ move.

While challenging the opposition parties that have long been threatening the government with long marches and no-trust motion, sources revealed, the prime minister had said that the opposition was more than welcome to test the waters by going ahead with their move to oust him.

In meetings with party’s lawmakers, the sources said, Imran, while discussing the government’s strategy about no-confidence motion, emphasised that “everything was fine” and that he had full confidence in the lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The prime minister’s statement came against the backdrop of intense speculations that some of the ruling party parliamentarians were in contact with the opposition on the much-hyped no-confidence motion plans and were ready to jump ship.

In the absence of any official statement, senior PTI leader Senator Faisal Javed confirmed the prime minister’s meetings with MNAs. In the meetings, Javed said that Imran expressed “complete trust’ in the PTI lawmakers as well as those from government’s allies.

The senator chided the opposition when he seconded what Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said earlier that five-to-seven opposition lawmakers were in contact with the government and that the opposition would find it hard to show the majority when it tabled the no-confidence motion.

In the meetings, Javed said, Prime Minister Imran had been emphasising that all the members of the PTI were united and all the allies were with the government.

In response to a question, he added, the members had been assuring the prime minister that they would stand by the government and not go anywhere. “It is like ‘I believe in you’ and ‘we are part of PTI team’ moment in every meeting,” he said.

Meanwhile, Javed tweeted that Premier Imran would deliver a keynote address in Vehari on Sunday (today) and inform the public about the steps taken for their betterment as well as expose the “grand conspiracy” of the opposition against him.

His tweet suggested that Imran would speak about what was the purpose behind the no-confidence motion plans. “Big revelations are coming [and] the opposition will have to face failure again,” Senator Javed tweeted.

As the threat of a vote of no-confidence looms, Imran is expected to visit a major ally of the government, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), in three to four days. It is learned that the prime minister might visit the MQM-P’s Bahadurabad office during his visit to Karachi on March 9.

The meeting with the MQM-P’s top leadership is taking place on the heels of his visit to the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) leadership amid opposition parties’ back-to-back visits to the government’s coalition partners in the recent weeks.

Read: Changing deadlines of no-trust move ‘face-saving’ tactic: Fawad

After silently watching for weeks, the PM became active and started meeting party lawmakers and allies when the opposition mounted pressure on the government and made it look like that the ruling party’s MNAs and allies were on the verge of openly supporting the opposition.

Though the government denies it, the recent announcement of slashing petrol, diesel and electricity prices by the prime minister was also seen as a move to defuse opposition’s pressure, address the allies’ concerns over skyrocketing inflation and get public opinion back on its side.

On different occasions, the allies found it difficult to support the government over runaway inflation but with the recent announcement, the allies’ tone has changed a bit and provided the government the much-needed space it wanted to move ahead.

On the other hand, sources in the opposition parties claimed that the no-confidence motion against the government was expected to be tabled in the National Assembly by next Tuesday. They said that draft was ready but the timing of presenting the motion was still being deliberated upon, hoping that this time around it would finally be submitted in the assembly secretariat.


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