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ISLAMABAD: Amid the uncertain political situation of the country, the leadership of the joint opposition, Tuesday, exchanged views on its strategy with regard to the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In a meeting at the residence of the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shebaz Sharif, the leaders of the joint opposition took stock of the political situation and the ongoing talks with the ruling coalition partners, particularly with Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P). The meeting was attended by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari along with his delegation including Sherry Rehman and Naveed Qamar, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, and other senior leaders of the PML-N and other opposition parties.

The PML-N sources said that the opposition leaders exchanged views on the required number in the National Assembly to pass the no-confidence motion against the prime minister as well as the ongoing efforts with the ruling coalition partners and the estranged members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“The leaders expressed the confidence that the opposition has achieved the target of more than 172 members required for the passage of the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly,” a senior PML-N leader claimed. He said that dialogues were still continuing with the MQM-P and expressed the hope that the party would take the “right” decision.

He said that the leaders also discussed the “surprise” decision taken by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leadership to side with the PTI despite, an understanding was reached with the party to give the slot of the chief minister Punjab to Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, besides exchanging views on the strategy for the success of the no-confidence motion in Punjab assembly.

Earlier talking to reporters, PML-N senior leader Rana Sanaullah claimed that the inclusion of Aslam Bhootani, an independent member who was earlier supporting the PTI, in the opposition fold, has increased its numbers to 163, while with four votes of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), two other independents, and three PML-Q votes, the number would reach to 172. He further claimed that five PTI members who won the 2018 elections as independent and later joined the PTI would also support the opposition.

To a question about the PML-Q’s decision, he said that it was surprising as the Chaudhrys have never violated their “words” in the past, adding that it was consensus within the party and the PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif has also given a nod to give the slot of chief minister Punjab to Chaudhry Pervaiz Elhai.

However, he maintained that Elahi would not be in a positon to get elected, adding that there are various “forward blocs” already within the PTI in Punjab, while another group – “Buzdar group” – also emerged following the party leadership sought resignation of chief minister Usman Buzdar.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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