PTI can’t make Elahi Punjab CM: Zardari

PPP leadership hails MNA Aslam Bhootani’s decision to quit ruling coalition, back no-trust move


Our Correspondent March 29, 2022
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari addressing a news conference in Islamabad on March 29. PHOTO: PPP MEDIA CELL

ISLAMABAD:

PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday maintained that the ruling PTI could not make PML-Q’s Parvez Elahi the chief minister of Punjab as it lacked the numbers required in the provincial assembly to do so.

“Only we [the opposition] have the numbers to do that.  We will jointly nominate a candidate who will become the Punjab chief minister. It is too late now,” he added while addressing a joint news conference with his son, party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, and Mohammad Aslam Bhootani.

An independent MNA elected from the Gwadar-Lasbela NA-272, Bhootani has quit the ruling coalition and join hands with the opposition in its attempt to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan through a no confidence motion.

Both Zardari and his son welcomed Bhootani’s decision to quit the ruling coalition.

Speaking on the occasion, Bilawal said: “We are grateful to Mr Bhootani for standing with the opposition and the Pakistani people during this stage. The united opposition welcomes and salutes Mr Bhootani.”

Read Rana Sanaulla holds Moonis Elahi responsible for PML-Q's decision

He added that yesterday [Monday] was a historic day as the united opposition tabled the no-confidence against the prime minister.

“The Balochistan Awami Party [BAP] too announced leaving this government and supporting the opposition. The Jamhoori Watan Party [JWP] also quit the coalition a day before that [on Sunday] and announced that it would back the opposition.”

Responding to journalists’ questions, former president Zardari said he had invited the PML-Q and they congratulated him at midnight, but went “somewhere else” in the morning.

He added that the Sindh chief minister and the provincial cabinet were holding negotiations with the MQM-P and good news was expected from there.

“I believe and hope that the establishment will remain neutral.”

Bilawal challenged PM Imran to bring before the country the “letter” which the premier had claimed during a recent speech was evidence that the no-trust motion was a foreign-funded conspiracy hatched against his government.

“It is Imran Khan’s habit to make false allegations,” he added.

“The numbers of the united opposition were sufficient when the no-confidence was submitted and have only increased since then. It was our desire to take along the allies as we believe that consensus is necessary for electoral reforms in the future.”

Bilawal said a far as the MQM-P was concerned, there was not a single demand of the party that the PPP had not agreed to.

“The PPP has decided to find mutual ground with the MQM-P and form a long-term working relationship for the sake of Karachi and the rest of the country.”

The PPP chairman claimed that his party had and always would strive for the provinces to achieve their rights.

“People from Balochistan have played a major role in the no-confidence motion, as they are coming forward with their decisions courageously.”

Bilawal said the National Assembly speaker could not even think of doing something “unconstitutional” now.

“We hope that our judiciary will not let rigging take place. We hope that it fulfils its responsibility.”

The PPP chairman further maintained that PM Imran wanted to weaken the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and introduce a real time system (RTS) “plus” through electronic voting machines (EVMS) to rig the 2023 elections.

Bilawal further demanded that the speaker should immediately issue production orders for Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) MNA Ali Wazir.

Responding to a query about PPP MNA Jam Abdul Karim, the PPP chairman said that it was the right of an individual to be granted bail by the court.

“The court has done that. I hope that the court will take contempt action against those who are threatening to go against its orders.”

Bilawal claimed that this was PM Imran’s “last week”. “No matter what threat he hurls, the united opposition will succeed. The ministers and bureaucracy should realise that it’s their last week too.”

Responding to a question about the imposition of the governor's rule in Sindh, the PPP chairman challenged the government to proceed with the move.

 

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