No-confidence Motion: The D-Day is fast approaching

Published: 10:49 PM, 16 Mar, 2022
No-confidence Motion: The D-Day is fast approaching
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Is the fate of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) going to be sealed on March 28 or is the Opposition that appears to be determined to rid the country of Imran Khan as Prime Minister going to wither away. On the one hand, the panic in the ranks and files of the PTI is visible while on the other hand opposition parties having different ideologies and backgrounds seem to be closing ranks.

As usual, the coterie of PTI spokespersons, ministers, and advisers and their leader Imran Khan are trying to establish that the Opposition’s move is sponsored and funded by foreign powers to whom Imran Khan recently challenged in his speeches including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and India. He made these remarks in his speeches following his visit to Russia little before Moscow decided to attack Ukraine.

At the same time, Imran Khan started using harsh language, very little short of abuses, against his arch-rivals PPP Co-Chairperson, Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), Mian Shahbaz Sharif, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman. While having termed them as thieves and dacoits, he called them three stooges in his speech in Swat today.

The two sides are challenging each other in the most unheard-of manner. Imran Khan announced in a public rally at Lower Dir that he would hold a rally at D-Chowk on March 27 to demonstrate his popularity among the masses. Therefore, he has invited his party workers and the members of his Tiger Force to attend the rally.

Federal Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry took the announcement of his party leader to new heights making his interpretation of the proposed rally saying: “We would see which member of the National Assembly belonging to PTI had the heart to dare enter the Parliament buildings and then show guts to cross through the mob of PTI activists assembled in front of the assembly premises”.

Now listen to what PM’s Special Assistance Shahbaz Gill had to say. “No-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan is an ‘international conspiracy’ for not allowing bases and use of its territory to the US for any action inside Afghanistan”. It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Imran Khan while talking to HBO during an interview last year had said there is no way we are going to allow any bases, any sort of action from Pakistani territory into Afghanistan. 

Hectic political activities have been witnessed since the Opposition submitted the No-Confidence Motion in the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8 (Tuesday). This move was initiated even though Speaker Asad Qaiser decided not to receive the documents in person. Under rules and procedures, the No-Confident Motion must be signed by 20 percent of the total number of National Assembly members. However, the Motion has been signed by 140 MNAs.

This belittled the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf leadership’s claim that the Opposition does not have the required number of MNAs to sign it. An un-ending debate started based on varying claims by the Imran Khan-led PTI and the Opposition on number game till the writing of this report.

It may be recalled that the opposition has submitted two sets of documents, one under Article 54 of the Constitution to requisition the National Assembly because it is not in session currently, and the other a resolution calling for a no-confidence vote against the prime minister. According to Article 54, a session of the National Assembly can be requisitioned if at least 20 per cent of the members sign it, following which the speaker has a maximum of 14 days to summon a session.

Last year in March, the premier had voluntarily sought a trust vote following an upset in Senate elections. In a show of strength, he had secured 178 votes – six more than required – to win the vote of confidence from the National Assembly.

While the government allies including the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) have held a series of meetings among themselves for consultations on the fast-changing political scenario. On the other hand, the allies established contacts with the government as well as with the leaderships of three mainstream political parties including the PPP, the PML-N, and the JUI.

What came out to be a real big blow to the PTI was Ch Pervaiz Ilahi’s interview with a television hostess during which he made alarming assertions. His remarks during the show sent ripples to PTI’s leadership.

The speaker of the Punjab Assembly went on to say that Imran Khan was losing ground because his allies being disappointed were looking towards the Opposition. According to him despite being in power for three and a half years, the Premier did not fulfil his commitments made with coalition partners.

Ch Pervaiz Ilahi said the allied parties were consulting each other to decide whether to vote in the favour of the No-Confidence Motion or against it. According to him, the allied parties had a 100 per cent tilt towards the Opposition.

The qualitative difference in the ground situation for the PTI is that the Establishment has distanced itself while communicating to the party leadership that now it would have to handle the emerging political situation on its own. In the past, according to political observers, the Establishment had outrightly helped the government in sailing through deep waters like the passing of federal budgets, Chairman Senate elections, and passage of several bills in the house in a bull-dozing manner.

Categories : Opinion
Salim Bokhari

The writer is the Group Editor of City News Network.