Rumblings Inside Imran Khan’s PTI Before No-Confidence Vote

Imran Khan

Lahore: Nearly two dozen lawmakers from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling party have given threat to vote against the PM on the no-confidence motion tabled in Parliament by the Opposition, for embattling the premier struggling to cling to power, news agency PTI reported.

Around 100 lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party, have submitted a no-confidence motion before the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8. They have alleged that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government led by Khan is responsible for economic crisis and inflation faced by the country. 

For the move, the National Assembly Session is expected to be convened on March 21. Voting is likely to be held on March 28. After the no-trust move was submitted by the joint opposition, some of the partners in the government began to dither but the real shock for the Pak PM came on Thursday when he learnt that about 24 lawmakers from his own party were ready to part ways to join the push to topple his government.

Speaking with Geo News Raja Riaz, one of the lawmakers said that Khan has failed to control the inflation. Another lawmaker Noor Alam Khan told Samaa News said that many of his grievances were not addressed by the government.

“We are part of more than two dozen members who are not happy with the government policies,” Riaz said “I raised the issue of gas shortage in my constituency many times but nothing was done,” said Khan.

The disgruntled lawmakers have been staying at Sindh House in Islamabad which is a property of the Sindh government and run by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

“I was threatened and requested the Sindh Chief Minister to give me a room here (Sindh House),” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn News. The Sindh Government was accused by the government of abducting the PTI lawmakers to influence them by offering them huge bribes. But Riaz told Geo News, “The lawmakers were staying at the property of their own free will and were ready to move out of it if the prime minister assured them that they would be allowed to vote ‘according to our conscience’.”

Prime Minister Khan consulted his party leaders and ministers on Thursday and was urged by Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid for imposing the governor’s rule in Sindh and to remove its government as it was involved in buying members of the National Assembly. “I asked the Prime Minister to impose Governor Rule in Sindh,” Rashid told the media after the meeting.

Khan has consulted his legal team about disqualify the dissidents under the floor-crossing laws, but the law can be invoked after a lawmaker votes against his own party by ignoring the clear directions of the party leader. Khan’s grip on power is weakening. With the objective of gathering one million workers, Pak PM has mobilized his support base by giving a call for a big rally in the heart of the capital on March 27.

The opposition has responded to the move by asking their workers to march towards Islamabad on March 25 to occupy the D-Chowk in front of Parliament where Khan plans to hold a rally.

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