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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan did not secure the vote of confidence but “it was given by the country’s institutions.”

Talking to the media about vote of confidence after appearing before accountability court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case against him and others, Abbasi said, “Unfortunately, Imran Khan is prime minister today with support of country’s intelligence agencies as he doesn’t have support of his members and masses”.

About securing of vote of confidence by Imran Khan from National Assembly, he said no one knows under which law, the prime minister secured vote of confidence from parliament.

He said under Article 91 (7), vote of confidence exclusive jurisdiction of the President of Pakistan, and not the prime minister. It is the prerogative of the president to invoke this Article if he believes that the prime minister has lost the confidence of the National Assembly, he said.

About upcoming Senate chairman elections, he said there is no one to lodge our complaint with after whatever happened in vote of confidence for the prime minister.

“I was personally thinking to write a letter to Director General (DG) Inter–Services Public Relations (ISPR) who had earlier denied any interference in country’s politics… but whatever happened in resent Senate elections and the vote of confidence was contrary to DG ISPR’s claim”, he added.

He claimed that during Senate election members, the MNAs were threatened and all the limit of decency was crossed during vote of confidence, adding he is optimistic that whatever happened in previous election, might not be repeated in election of Senate chairman and its deputy.

Abbasi said the Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was defeated by his own MNAs, but neither the prime minister nor his finance minister bothered to tender their resignations on moral grounds.

He said the prime minister called MNAs and obliged them with uplift fund which is a political bribery.

He regretted the attack on PML-N leaders including him during their media talk outside parliament lodges on March 6, and said: “Should we be armed during our pressers? Are they [PTI] going to run the country through such examples?”

To a question about vote of no confidence against Punjab chief minister, he said bringing vote of no-confidence in Punjab or in the federation were our different options.

Earlier, he and other accused appeared before the court in LNG case.

The court marked attendance of the accused and adjourned the case till March 12 due to lawyers’ protests.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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