In a retributive attempt to bring down the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government in the centre, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Saturday insisted that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will have to take a vote of confidence.
Khan’s comments come at a time when the PDM faces resentment from its coalition allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
The party has threatened to leave the federal government following their unaddressed reservations in the local body polls being held in Karachi and Hyderabad on January 15 (Sunday). MQM-P’s votes are crucial to help the incumbent prime minister continue his term in office.
However, in a bid to keep them in the alliance, PM Shehbaz, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had assured the MQM-P of addressing their concerns.
Against the backdrop of the recent political developments in the country, Khan said: “PTI has passed the test. Now, Shehbaz Sharif will be fully tested.”
Referring to the recent vote of confidence taken by Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi, Khan said: “Our numbers had been completed. Moonis Elahi worked hard at the last moment to achieve the required numbers of the PML-Q.”
The cricketer-turned-politician while denying allegations of horse trading said that the PDM was still stuck to the “politics of Changa Manga”.
“The country has changed and they don’t realise it,” the PTI chairman said, adding that for the first time in the country’s history, Punjab stood against the Punjab establishment during the by-elections in July 2022. “The by-polls changed the country’s politics.”
The ousted prime minister, whose government was sent home following a vote of no confidence, spoke about Moonis’ significant role in the Punjab Assembly fiasco earlier this week.
“Moonis Elahi played a crucial role in completing the number. Our members were complete and the PML-Q’s members were short in numbers towards the end,” Khan said, maintaining that his party didn’t attempt horse-trading.
The former premier said that he realised the opposition being shocked at CM Elahi’s success at getting the required number of votes after seeing their photos while seated in the assembly.
“They thought the establishment was behind them and they will win,” the PTI chief said, taking a jibe at the opposition.
More to follow…