No government has ever completed its tenure in Pakistan since its formation in 1947 and circumstances are now repeating with cricketer turned politician, Prime Minister Imran Khan facing serious trouble with his three most important allies besides his own members reportedly withdrawing support to him.
The Pakistan National Assembly has 342 seats and a minimum of 172 is required to form the government. With his three most important allies withdrawing support, Imran Khan faces a united opposition, an alliance of several parties including Bilawal Bhutto’s PPP .
Even as the no-confidence motion is likely to come up tomorrow in case the National Assembly does not adjourn after death condolences as is the norm; the Pakistan Army is believed to have lost faith in Imran Khan’s leadership.
No politician or political party in Pakistan can function without Army support. In this case, it was Army Chief Javed Bajwa who helped Imran Khan in 2018 to secure power but sources in Pakistan say both of them have developed a chasm over the appointment of the ISI chief. This chasm has not only widened their differences, but the Army reportedly is all set to throw out Imran Khan’s government. A strong opposition led by Shehbaaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League(N) is vying to be the next Prime Minister of Pakistan. Imran Khan’s main ally the Muttahdia Quami Movement(MQM) has also decided to ditch Imran.
Sharif is the current Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, reacting to the latest reports, Khan expressed confidence in sailing through the no-confidence motion against him, saying that he would never bow down before the ‘corrupt’, ‘thieves’ and ‘fraud’ opposition parties. Imran Khan has been quoted saying “I condemn the shameless buying of politician’s souls by the political mafia who want to protect their loots”. He added, “I am not going to resign or give up”.
Imran Khan has also approached the Supreme Court of Pakistan to disqualify all his party members and allies who are supporting the Opposition to unseat him. Under 63 A rule of the Pakistan constitution, members can be disqualified for a lifetime. A Pakistani journalist Mohsin Rizwi told Vibes of India that Imran would not go without challenging the no confidence motion.
“Remember that he is a fighter. When the Pakistan cricket team was in bad shape, he fought and got the till now only World Cup defeating Australia. He cannot be underestimated but this time the Opposition has really united”, Rizwi added.
Imran Khan said “I have a surprise for all my rivals but will not reveal my cards now”.
“I will not resign under any circumstance. I will play till the last ball (…) and I will surprise them (opposition) a day before as they are still under pressure,” Khan said.
The cricketer-turned-politician’s reaction comes after around 100 lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) submitted the no-confidence motion before the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8.
The Opposition parties have alleged that the PTI government is responsible for the economic crisis, corruption and sky-rocketing prices in the country.
A Geo News report stated that Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the Pakistan Muslims League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) with their 17 members have indicated to support the no trust vote against Khan.
“They (MQM-P) will announce that they are with us in a day or two. After meeting the MQM-P leadership, I am completely satisfied that the no-confidence motion will be successful,” the head of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, told the media.
In the 342-member National Assembly of Pakistan, the PTI has 155 members in the House. Currently, Khan’s party has the support of 23 members of six other political parties. The Opposition needs 172 votes to remove Khan. They lack 10 solid votes only as of now.