No-trust threat takes its toll on PM Imran

Premier asks Sindh governor, Khattak to woo disgruntled PTI leaders

Rizwan Shehzad   March 07, 2022
A file photo of Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Prime Minister Imran Khan, while reiterating that opposition parties were more than welcome to test the water with their no-confidence motion against his government, on Monday directed Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak to bring disgruntled members back into the party’s fold.

Sources said that the prime minister, who chaired the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) core committee meeting, assured the party that there was nothing to be worried about as “there is no threat to the democratic government”.

Surprisingly, the no-confidence motion has put everything on the back burner, including the weekly federal cabinet meeting. Noticeably, the premier has lately been so busy in turning the tables on the opposition that he has once again postponed the federal cabinet’s meeting – making it the third consecutive Tuesday without having to hear what the cabinet has to collectively say in these testing times.

While dispelling the impression that the opposition parties were on the verge of making their no-trust move successful, the premier repeated in the core committee meeting that he has confidence in the party’s lawmakers. The 'homework' was complete to defeat the opposition parties’ move and the “agenda of thieves [opposition parties] would be made unsuccessful”.

Read PTI swings into action to foil opposition’s no-trust move

Chiding the opposition parties in the meeting, sources said, the premier was of the view that those running away from their cases would not be able to bring “revolution” and added that they, however, were free to table the no-confidence motion against him.

The statement comes on the heels of his warning to the opposition to fear his wrath when their move against his government fails.

The directions to the Sindh governor and the defence minister for contacting disgruntled members have come after it emerged that PML-N has made a contact with PTI leader Aleem Khan who was scheduled to visit estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen’s residence ahead of the opposition parties’ no-confidence motion against PM Imran.

The souring of ties between the PTI leadership and the disgruntled members have reached the point where it has been said that Aleem Khan has been busy meeting over two dozen members for the past few weeks and would be discussing options and strategies regarding Punjab and the Centre in the meeting with the Tareen group tonight.

The government has been walking a tightrope for the past several weeks and with mounting pressure from the opposition parties, PM Imran was recently forced to significantly slash petrol, diesel, and electricity prices.

Read more Fear my wrath when no-trust fails: PM

In addition, the promise of making South Punjab a separate province has resurfaced and the premier has announced to soon submit a constitutional amendment in the National Assembly.

The failure of his ex-accountability czar to conclude or even bring corruption cases against the opposition leadership to conclusion has severely jolted the ruling party’s mantra of accountability and recovery of “looted money” from ex-rulers standing trial in corruption cases.

Meeting after meeting are taking place for the past few weeks in both government and opposition camps to envisage defeating the other side.

The flurry of activity in both camps has increased the political temperature in the power corridors, which has further increased by PPP’s long march which is about to enter the federal capital.

Meanwhile, PPP’s leader Khursheed Shah, who had recently hinted that the no-trust motion would be submitted in the assembly when the PPP long march enters Islamabad, met JUI-F and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday to discuss modalities of the motion.

Just like the government, the statement issued after the Shah-Fazl meeting stated that “homework is complete [and] the motion would soon be presented”. The statement also demanded PM Imran to resign and “have mercy on the nation and the country”.


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