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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Wednesday challenged the opposition to bring the motion to House, if they have 172 numbers while calling upon the speaker of the National Assembly to convene a session of the lower house soon to wind up the opposition’s no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Addressing a news conference, along with Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, he said the country was not in a position to afford political chaos for a long time.

He claimed Prime Minister Imran Khan has the support of majority parliamentarians and the opposition’s no-confidence motion is destined to fail.

“Around 184 members of the National Assembly are strongly standing behind Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added.

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the PML-N and the PPP have been involved in horse-trading in the past and now Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari are taking this practice to new heights.

Govt firms up strategy to counter no-trust move

He said Imran Khan is the sole challenger of these “merchants of horse-trading”.

He said Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari believe in politics of money and looting and stashing national wealth abroad.

He said they are offering millions of rupees to buy the loyalty of our members.

Fawad said Maulana Fazlur Rehman had also gotten personal benefits from past governments.

He alleged Fazlur Rehman has also been accepting money from foreign forces.

The Minister for Information announced that now the government will not indulge in any kind of talks with the opposition and will deal with its negative tactics accordingly.

“We tried to talk to them on electoral reforms and other matters of public interest but they did not respond to us”, he added.

While criticising PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif for saying that one of the reasons behind the no-trust move was the premier’s recent criticism of the European Union in Mailsi, he asked “Is the EU your relative?” while explaining that relationships between countries are based on national interests and Pakistan’s interests would have to be considered above the EU’s or any others.

Chaudhry said no Pakistani leader since Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had pursued an independent foreign policy save for Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Speaking on the occasion, Hammad Azhar said Prime Minister Khan has put the country’s economy on the path of growth and development.

“Despite all the crisis, Pakistan is progressing and we are being seen as a model for development.”

He said Pakistan’s current growth rate stood at 5.5pc even amid “all the challenges at hand”.

The energy minister said the political commotion being caused by the opposition was also an attack on the economy, adding “the opposition is also trying to shake the confidence of investors who are quite optimistic about Pakistan’s future.”

He maintained that PM Imran would emerge even stronger in the next two weeks, insisting that he “enjoys the complete support of the people”.

Hammad Azhar said Prime Minister Khan is pursuing an independent and strategic foreign policy in the best interest of Pakistan.

Responding to a question, of whether the allies are on good terms with the government, he said good meetings were held with them and they were with the government.

“Matters are in super control and you will see more clearly in the next one to two days,” he added.

The opposition on Tuesday had submitted in the National Assembly Secretariat a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and also requisitioned the National Assembly because it is not in session currently.

After this requisition, the speaker has a maximum of 14 days to summon the session, which means he must call the lower house in session by March 22.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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