Plan to postpone counting through violence: Final countdown for PTI govt

There are reports that the government and the PTI leadership had planned to violently stop the opposition legislators from heading to the parliament and even prevent them from voting on the crucial no-trust motion

By Mumtaz Alvi & News Desk
April 03, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The united opposition’s battle to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion has entered the do-or-die stage, and its result will emerge today (Sunday) when the voting on the resolution will be held in the National Assembly under NA Speaker Asad Qaiser.


The Islamabad Capital Territory administration said on Saturday all arrangements had been made for smooth conduct of voting on the resolution in the National Assembly and all roads leading to the Red Zone had been sealed.

However, there are reports that PM Imran Khan's government and the PTI leadership had planned violently stopping the opposition legislators from heading to the parliament from the Parliament Lodges and even stopping them within the parliament from voting on the crucial no-trust motion. According to sources, violent protests would be held inside and outside the parliament and counting of votes would be postponed through violence in the House. The reports have left the top security managers disturbed and alarmed.

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Geo News Capital Talk host Hamid Mir told Naya Pakistan programme host on Saturday that the PTI had instructed its supporters to gather near the Parliament to prevent and thrash any opposition MP or those intending to vote against Imran Khan. They have been clearly directed not to let Opposition MPs cast vote inside the Parliament.

The PTI leadership has called its workers to Islamabad to subvert the voting process. Sources said the PTI supporters would be brought to the parliament gate and they would resort to violence to stop the MNAs from entering the National Assembly. Hamid Mir said there were undeniable proofs that the party activists would be used to disrupt the no-trust polling process. Other tactics including detention were also on the cards against the important opposition leaders.

Further alarming are the instructions to the PTI workers to approach the houses of the PTI dissenters and agitate against them. The plan is to create wide disturbances and create a law and order situation in the entire area around the Parliament to thwart the process at all costs.

However, a spokesperson for Prime Minister’s House denied all these stories. In a release, he said late Saturday night that a channel was running fake news that the opposition MNAs would be hindered from proceeding towards the Parliament House. The spokesperson said the PM House denied the fake news and condemned the propaganda. He said PM Imran Khan believed in democratic process and he would never indulge in any undemocratic activities.

However, Hamid Mir, quoting sources said, PM Imran Khan summoned Speaker Asad Qaiser and Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan to a critical meeting “and instructed them to adjourn the NA session using some rules and deny vote counting.”Both the speaker and the attorney general, however, advised the prime minister against the move, saying it is a constitutional process which cannot be subverted, but failed to persuade Imran Khan from backing off from the move, who demanded them ‘forcefully to block the vote counting at all costs and adjourn the house’. Speaker Asad Qaiser even told the PM that Sunday was the last day and the NA session cannot be adjourned anymore, but the prime minister forcefully insisted “something must be done to put off the voting.

“The denial from voting is a stark violation of the law, Constitution and the orders of the Supreme Court,” a reluctant attorney general and speaker cautioned the prime minister.

The PM, on the other hand, continues to harp on the tune of the no trust motion being a ‘foreign country’s plot’. He keeps on addressing the media, public and his party and even tried to sell this to the security establishment. The establishment, in return, conveyed to the government that no evidence of any foreign government sponsoring the no-confidence motion exists and asked the political leadership to furnish if they are in possession of any evidence.

Against the scenario, quoting sources, Hamid Mir said evidence of the dangerous confrontational plan to subvert the constitutional move exists and that would be used in future to prosecute those political personalities and government officials who plan to act on such illegal orders. However, sources want to wait and see how the situation evolves on Sunday and would try to prevent a meltdown of the law and order situation. Following the passage of no trust or as the situation warrants, the evidence of foul play will be brought before the public.

The PM is bent upon creating a volatile scenario to buy time. At the same time, the president has also been advised not to allow Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition’s joint candidate, as the head of the interim government, take vote of confidence after their success in dislodging PM Khan. Sources told Hamid Mir that the aim is to deny Shehbaz Sharif taking the confidence vote as long as possible using some legal argument. The president has also been advised to delay the holding of the next NA session by as much as a month in the event that the no-trust against the incumbent prime minister sails smoothly. During this time, the President would ask PM Imran Khan to continue till the new PM is not sworn in. This will buy time to set in roll some more events, sources added. Meanwhile, taking a 180-degree turn on the eve of the voting on no-trust motion in the NA, PM Khan decided to attend the session along with his party members and allies.

Sources privy to the political committee’s meeting, presided over by Prime Minister here, claimed that the PM was confident of winning the no-trust motion and would share good news with the nation. He reportedly insisted that the conspiracy, having outside backing, would not succeed come what may.

Previously, through a letter, Premier had directed the party members to stay away from voting on the no-trust motion, and had cautioned of applying Article 63 on those, who would still attend the session on Sunday. The political committee was also given a proposal, earlier that the assembly session should be ‘adjourned’ for an indefinite period.

Moreover, invoking Article-94, the President should be approached to issue orders for continuation of the PM for an indefinite period. However, this proposal could not win enough support during the meeting, it was learnt.

Meanwhile, during ‘Your Prime Minister with You’ programme, he received calls from the public. He said he had a plan for tomorrow and would defeat them in the assembly. The captain always has a plan and this time he had more than one plan. “God willing, we will win tomorrow and you should not worry,” he asked one caller.

“Why am I saying that tomorrow I will give you good news because the people who went to them have started to get scared, I have started getting messages from last night and tomorrow you will see the result,” he added.

The PM said, “I reiterate that your protest should be peaceful. Do not harm your country in any way. This is our country. When we sabotage, we harm our people and our country. Peaceful protests frighten such traitors. When the nation stands up for truth and justice, the greatest fear in society is for those traitors who have compromised their conscience. They enslave the country for personal gains.”

While replying a questioner, he said except for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s foreign policy had never been independent and he was killed by such Mir Jafars.

Imran reiterated he had never been hostile to any country: never been against America and against India, and never been against any other country, and wanted good relations with all countries.

Referring to the election of the Chief Minister of Punjab, he said, “Look at the spectacle. The father is sitting here dreaming of becoming prime minister and the son is sitting here dreaming of becoming the chief minister of Punjab. I ask my members to vote to stop the combination of father and son and if they do not vote, they will have to be expelled from the party”.

In a tweet, he likened his current situation with the Karbala episode of the Islamic history. “In Karbala, facing an enemy that far outnumbered them, Imam Hussain (AS), his family & followers laid down their lives to show people the difference between Haq (right/ truth) & Baatil (falsehood).

“Today, we are fighting for truth & patriotism against falsehood & treason,” he added.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif Saturday said all opposition members would reach the parliament come what may. He said no violence or negative tactics could stop them from reaching the National Assembly and casting their vote to send packing Imran Niazi. He said a “treason case” should first be registered against Imran Khan. “Treason case should be first registered against Imran Khan, as by not ending his [2014] sit-in, Imran Khan had harmed nation’s pride.” The PMLN president said if politicians get involved in “treason and patriotism”, then the matter would get out of hand. He said that if Prime Minister Imran Khan goes against the constitution and the law, then they will take their course.