ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: Amid rapidly changing political scenario, the combined opposition moved resolution of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly on Monday.
Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif moved the resolution amid sloganeering in the House. As many as 161 members backed moving of the resolution. All Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) dissidents as well as the MNAs of the government ally parties did not attend the assembly session.
Shahzain Bugti of Jamhoori Watan Party, who had announced supporting the combined opposition earlier, stood in favour of the resolution, while Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, who was elected on the MMA ticket, left the National Assembly hall before the chair asked for voting.
An independent member, Ali Wazir, who is in custody of law-enforcement agencies, and Jam Abdul Karim, who is facing charges of murder of Nazim Jokhio, and is currently out of the country, did not attend Monday’s proceedings.
Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who chaired Monday’s proceedings, in the light of Rule 37 (5) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, fixed Thursday, March 31, for discussion on the resolution.
The Rule 37 (5) says that the Speaker, may after considering state of business, shall allot a day or two for discussion on the motion. The chair is to hold voting on the resolution within seven days of the date on which it was moved by the opposition in the National Assembly. As per Article 95 of the Constitution and Assembly’s rules, a resolution of no-confidence against the prime minister shall not be voted before e0xpiry of three days and not later than seven days from the day, it was moved.
The Rule 37 (4) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly says the leave to move the resolution shall be asked for after question hour, if any, and before any other business entered in the order of the day.
The combined opposition had submitted no-confidence resolution against the prime minister in the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8. However, prior to giving floor to the opposition leader, the chair allowed Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan, to introduce the Constitution (26th Amendment) Bill, 2022 in the House. The bill envisages creation of the south Punjab province through an amendment in the Constitution.
The combined opposition had submitted no-confidence resolution against the prime minister in the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8. Meanwhile, The joint opposition in Punjab filed a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the Punjab Assembly Secretariat, here Monday.
The no-confidence motion bore signatures of 127 opposition MPAs, including Sami Ullah Khan, Syed Hassan Murtaza, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, Malik Nadim Kamran, Ramazan Siddique Bhatti, Mian Naseer. The opposition also requisitioned an assembly session.
At present, the PMLN has 165 MPAs in the house of 371 and it needs the support of 21 members to prove a simple majority in the PA to topple the Buzdar government. The PPP has seven MPAs while five members ---Ch Nisar, Jugnoo Mohsin, Bilal Warraich, Qasim Langah and Ahmed Ali Aulakh --- are independents. The PMLQ, the main ally of the Buzdar government, has 10 MPAs while MPA Muavya Azam Tariq belongs to the Rah e Haq Party.
If the PMLQ quits the Buzdar government, it will certainly lose the majority in the house but even if the PMLQ doesn’t join hands with the opposition, the rebel MPAs of the PTI representing the Jehangir Khan Tareen group could help the PMLN remove Buzdar.
The strength of the PTI MPAs representing Tareen Group is around 20 and most of them are ready to face disqualification on for the sake PMLN tickets in by-polls and the 2023 general elections.
Despite a revolt of six MPAs in the PMLN cadre and one in that of the PPP, the shortfall could well be fulfilled with the group of the JKT which is not going to support Buzdar in the confidence move.
Keeping in view the number game, only a miracle can save the Buzdar government now as till date, all the indicators are going against his government. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz has said that no-confidence motion has been filed against Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and it will be successful in both the centre and Punjab.
He said the opposition was fully prepared to make the no-confidence motion in Punjab a success. PMLN MPA Rana Mashhood said that the days of Usman Buzdar and Imran Khan were numbered and the people of Punjab were fed up with corruption.
PPP leader Hassan Murtaza said that the no-confidence motion against Usman Buzdar would be successful and he must go with Imran Khan. To a question about new chief minister, Rana Mashhood said all matters were settled.
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