Islamabad, March 28: Pakistan's National Assembly resumed its crucial session on Monday after a two-day recess where Opposition is likely to formally table the no-trust motion against embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan amidst fluid political situation in the country.
The country plunged into uncertainty on March 8 after the combined Opposition submitted the motion with the National Assembly along with a requisition to the Speaker to summon the session within mandatory 14 days.
Though the session was called on March 25, three days after the deadline, the Speaker refused to allow the motion to be tabled. But it is expected that the Opposition would get the chance to table it on Monday. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said in a media interaction that the no-confidence resolution would be decided by March 31, adding that Prime Minister Khan was not going anywhere.
“People must shun the idea that Imran's politics is teetering on the brink, especially after his 'great' rally in Islamabad a day ago,” he said, and termed the move as "a conspiracy to weaken Pakistan". ‘Pakistan PM Imran Khan Done With Boot Polishing, Now Licking Boots’, Says Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Rashid repeated what Khan said on Sunday while addressing a rally in Islamabad that an international conspiracy was afoot to topple his government. However, in response to a question Rashid said he has no idea about the letter that Khan had referred to in his speech.
In a massive show of strength ahead of the crucial no-confidence motion against his government, Khan on Sunday addressed a mammoth rally in the national capital where he claimed that foreign powers were involved in a conspiracy to topple his coalition government.
Addressing the rally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI) titled ‘Amr Bil Maroof' (enjoin the good) and billed as a "historic" event at Parade Ground in Islamabad, Prime Minister Khan said foreign elements are using local politicians and money to “mend the country's foreign policy” and asserted that he has a letter as ‘evidence' to support his claims.
Rashid also said that the Prime Minister had rejected his proposal to call snap elections, dissolve the Punjab Assembly and impose governor's rule in Sindh. He also said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had permission of Islamabad's administration to hold a rally in the capital on Monday.
Rashid, a close aide of Khan, is regularly dishing out hope to the supporters of Khan, who got another jolt in the form of a no-confidence move filed against his protege and hand-picked Chief Minister of Punjab province, Usman Buzdar.
An official handout issued by the provincial assembly secretariat, 127 provincial lawmakers signed the no-trust motion against Buzdar, while 120 signed the requisition notice to summon session within 14 days.
PML-N lawmaker Rana Mashhood said in a video that Buzdar can't dissolve the assembly once the no-trust move is submitted. The political temperature in Pakistan has been slowly reaching a boiling point in the wake of the no-trust move by the Opposition. The Opposition parties are confident that they can get the support of 172 members in the house of 342 to dislodge the government, while the government claims that it enjoys the required support in the house to foil the attempt. Pakistan PM Imran Khan Loses Another Ally Before Crucial No-Confidence Vote, After JWP Chief Shahzain Bugti Announces His Separation.
Khan came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan' but miserably failed to address the basic problem of keeping the prices of commodities in control, giving air to the sails of opposition ships to make war on his government.
With major allies of Khan looking the other way and about two dozen PTI members of Parliament revolting against him, and the powerful establishment not providing a helping hand, he is less likely to get the support of the much-coveted 172 lawmakers. Khan, 69, is heading a coalition government and he can be removed if some of the partners decide to switch sides. The PTI has 155 members in the 342-member National Assembly and needs at least 172 lawmakers on its side to remain in the government.