Pak’s oppn parties bring no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan, blame his govt for uncontrolled inflation

Pakistan’s major opposition parties on Tuesday submitted a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking to remove him from office after holding his government responsible for the uncontrolled inflation.

The motion, signed by about 100 lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was submitted to the National Assembly Secretariat, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said.

As per rules, signatures of at least 68 Members of Parliament are required to force the Speaker to summon a session, which should be convened between three to seven days to conduct a vote on a no-confidence motion.

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In the house of 342, the opposition needed the support of 172 members to remove the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

Khan, 69, is heading a coalition government and he can be removed if some of the partners decide to switch sides, which is not unusual in parliamentary democracies.

Reacting to the development, Khan said that the country’s powerful army was with him and he was confident that the government was not going anywhere.

“The army stands with me, it will never support thieves (…) and since the people are not backing the Opposition anymore, they are claiming that the establishment is supporting them,” he said.

“After this, nothing will happen against this government till 2028 (…) Opposition will face a humiliating defeat,” the prime minister said.

“My lawmakers are being offered Rs180 million (for supporting the no-confidence motion). I told them to take the money and distribute it among the poor,” he claimed.

Echoing the ruling party’s narrative of an international conspiracy behind attempts to seek his removal, Khan said people who do not want an independent foreign policy would support the no-confidence motion.

Khan had said he was ready for everything the Opposition throws at him.

“The powerful desire (national reconciliation ordinance) and threaten to topple the government if they don’t get it, but I will not give them that as long as I am alive,” Khan said.

Opposition parties blame Khan’s government for uncontrolled inflation that has broken the backs of poor people of the country, while Khan accuses them of trying to remove them as he was not willing to condone the alleged corruption by the leading opposition leaders.

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Top Opposition leaders — PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N’s President Shehbaz Sharif, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will address a press conference later Tuesday.

The Opposition is confident of having the required numbers to remove Khan, Geo TV reported, citing sources.

The Opposition has claimed that they have the backing of 28 lawmakers of the ruling party and others from an ally of the government, sources said.

Meanwhile, Khan’s close aide Aleem Khan announced that he would be joining hands with disgruntled party leader Jahangir Tareen, prompting the panic-stricken prime minister to dispatch Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to Lahore to pacify the former Punjab minister.

Khan, a former cricketer, came to power in 2018 and elections are to be held in 2023 if he succeeds to ward off the challenge of no-trust move.

He had promised to clean the country of corruption and create a new Pakistan.

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, the Dawn website reported.

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