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ISLAMABAD: Ahead of an expected no-confidence motion being moved by the joint opposition against him, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a crucial meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader and Federal Water Resources Minister Moonis Elahi on Thursday amidst the reports that the latter assured his party’s ‘strong’ support to the former in foiling any bid against the federal government.

Planning Minister Asad Umar was also in the meeting.

Moonis was conspicuous by his absence during the PM’s recent meeting with the Chaudhry’s of Gujrat in Lahore which led to speculations that all was not well within the ruling coalition despite that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi reiterated his party’s support to PM Khan. A tweet from Moonis after the Thursday meeting somewhat cleared the air of uncertainty.

“For generations, our family has always honoured commitments.

Met Imran Khan sb with Asad Umar sb. Agreed on working together for Pakistan’s betterment,” he tweeted. The development took place on the heels of complex political situation the country is entangled in. The joint opposition has maintained silence on the modalities of the no-confidence motion. Reports suggest that opposition is eyeing no-confidence motion against one of the three figures; the PM, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani.

PM meets Chaudhry brothers

Some circles believe, PM Khan is the one who would likely be challenged by the opposition through the vote of no-confidence. While the government claims to have garnered sufficient support by its allies to foil the no-confidence motion, the opposition says it has enough numbers to make this motion successful.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman said the no-confidence motion can be moved within the next 48 hours. “Next two to three days are very crucial,” he told the media.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, the PM himself has sprung into action and is directly reaching out to the allies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)— something he avoided doing before— in his ongoing stint in the power. Khan is reportedly all set to visit soon the headquarters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) in Bahadurabad, Karachi.

He is also reportedly scheduled to meet the leaders of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).

Rumours are also rife that PM is mulling over federal cabinet expansion in order to allay the concerns of the allies by ‘accommodating’ them with more ministerial portfolios. Apart from the PM, both chairman Senate and speaker NA are also active to counter the designs of the joint opposition. They are said to have had been holding separate meetings with treasury and ‘likeminded’ opposition senators against the possible no-confidence motion.

In 342-seat National Assembly, opposition needs simple majority or 172 seats to send this government or speaker NA packing. Presently, the ruling coalition has 178 seats in NA, opposition has 163 seats and one seat is vacant. In 100-seat Senate, opposition is in majority with 52 seats and opposition has 46 seats — a scenario that is challenging for treasury benches in case no-confidence motion is moved against the chairman Senate. One seat is vacant in Senate whereas Senator-elect from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Ishaq Dar has not taken oath since his election as Senator in March 2018.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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