ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Thursday, maintained that the Federal Cabinet has expressed “no-confidence” in Prime Minister Imran Khan by rejecting the summary he had earlier approved to import sugar and cotton yarn from India.
Addressing a news conference along with party leaders, Ahsan Iqbal and others, Abbasi said that a prime minister whose summary is rejected by the cabinet can no longer remain head of the cabinet.
“Does Imran Khan know it or not?…his own cabinet has expressed no-confidence in him,” he said while commenting on the cabinet decision with regard to rejection of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC)’s proposal to import sugar and cotton yarn from India.
Referring to matter pertaining to by-elections in NA-75, Daska, Abbasi maintained that the data of mobile phones of 10 presiding officers (POs) have been submitted to the Supreme Court, adding that all the 10 POs whose polling stations were at distance of 20 to 35 kilometres from the office of the returning officer (RO) and the travel by the POs should have completed within a half hour to the office of the RO.
However, some POs had reached the office of the RO in 13 hours, some in 12 hours, while others in 10 hours, and eight and six hours, he added.
“It’s astonishing to note that all the 10 POs were taken to the same specific place where they remained from eight to 13 hours. After that all of them were dropped at the RO’s office in the morning on the same time. This is a very horrific fact, as now the matter is not just of the elections, but who were those who wanted to “steal” the election,” he added.
“The data has now revealed that under a proper plan all the POs were abducted and kept them at a specific place where the results were changed and then they were brought at the RO’s office in the morning. It has now [become] mandatory that the Supreme Court should ask the government as to who were those who abducted the POs, as the government is responsible [and] has to be made answerable,” he said.
He maintained that it was the same practice of 2018 general election repeated in the by-election in Daska.
To a question, Abbasi said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was intact, adding that senators belonging to treasury benches in the Senate are pretending to be opposition’s senators.
“This is a huge breach of privilege of the Senate and disrespect of the opposition, which we cannot accept,” he stated in reference to the matter of opposition leader Yusuf Raza Gilani, which the party believed that Gilani was extended support by senators belonging to Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).
To another question, he said that a consultative meeting of the party was held on Thursday, which was presided over by Nawaz Sharif via a video link, adding that all the matters related to the country’s politics came under discussion in the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal said that Prime Minister Imran Khan as Minister for Commerce sought the federal cabinet’s approval to import sugar and cotton yarn from India and “selected” prime minister and his cabinet rejected the summary.
“It was due to the pressure from the people which forced the government to reject the ECC’s proposal,” he added.
He also accused the government of “stealing” the mandate of the people under a proper strategy in Daska, adding that it was “more serious” matter than Panama Leaks.
“This happened for the first time that a well-thought-out conspiracy by the sitting government to steal the elections has been caught red handed. Therefore, now the matter is not only limited to 20 polling stations, but to the entire 350 polling stations, as we want to know as to how the government misused the government machinery to steal the elections,” he maintained.
He hoped that the apex court would supervise the case till those responsible for trying to “steal” the elections were caught, adding that the issue should not be kept at the backburner until facts are unearthed.
He further stated that allowing re-election only on 20 polling stations would be tantamount to giving a “bailout package” to those who wanted to “plunder” the elections.
“Those found responsible for this conspiracy should be made an example for the future, as it is subversion of the Constitution. With due respect, I would like to ask the apex court that no other obvious evidence can be provided other than the abduction of 20 presiding officers,” he maintained, adding that if it was a planned “conspiracy” then it was not limited only to 20 polling stations.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021