• Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

Imran Khan addresses nation amid political tug of war in Punjab

LAHORE: In the wake of Punjab’s heated political atmosphere, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is addressing party workers and supporters via video link from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

The deposed prime minister is expected to make an “important” announcement in his address. A day earlier, a PTI senior leader said that the party’s chief would announce his “next plan of action”.

PTI’s Focal Person for Economy Hammad Azhar said that the party would hold a “huge” demonstration outside Punjab Governor’s House at 5pm to record its protest.

The political situation in the province has remained tense for the last few days ahead of the vote of no-confidence against Chief Minister Parvez Elahi and the possible dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

On Wednesday, Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman declared Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan’s ruling unconstitutional and illegal. The latter had defied his directives of summoning a session on Wednesday at 4pm for a vote of confidence pertaining to Chief Minister Parvez Elahi.

Sibtain Khan, instead, termed the order against the Constitution and adjourned an ongoing session till Friday.

PML-Q MPs back CM Elahi

In light of a trust or no-trust vote, the votes of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) are extremely important and the opposition was eyeing getting their support through PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat.

However, a statement released from the PML-Q said that the lawmakers of the party have assured their complete support for the incumbent chief minister — Elahi.

In a meeting — presided over by the CM and PML-Q’s parliamentary leader Sajid Bhatti — members gave CM Punjab full authority for all decisions and resolved to remain united under his leadership, the party statement read.

If a no-confidence motion is moved in the provincial assembly, members agreed to vote in favour of the chief minister, speaker and deputy speaker.

In this regard, addressing the press conference alongside Azhar, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry also mentioned that all PML-Q MPs have backed CM Elahi, the speaker, and the deputy speaker.

“We have the numbers,” Chaudhry said, noting that the PTI and PML-Q have joint members amounting to 187.

Letter sent for removing governor

Meanwhile, PA Speaker Sibtain has sent a letter to President Arif Alvi for removing the incumbent governor, Punjab Minister for Environment Protection and Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja said.

The former law minister mentioned that under Article 101(3), the president has the authority to remove the governor.

Basharat said in the letter written for the removal, the speaker has also complained about the governor’s behaviour.

“He has also pointed out the unconstitutional measures of the governor and requested the president to ensure that the governor does not take further unconstitutional steps.”

This is a developing story and is being updated with more details.

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