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Print Print 2022-03-30

Bhootani too joins opposition: Zardari says Elahi won’t be able to form Punjab govt

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari claimed that Pakistan Muslim...
Published March 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari claimed that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) leader Pervez Elahi could not become the chief minister of Punjab as he lacks the required votes and the person whom the joint-opposition backs will become the next chief minister of Punjab.

“The PML-Q leader Pervez Elahi can never become the chief minister of Punjab as he lacks the required votes. We will bring a change in Punjab as per our will. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) cannot make Pervez Elahi the CM as it does not have the numbers in the Punjab Assembly, but we do. Now, we will decide who will become the next chief minister, as Pervez Elahi is too late. The opposition will jointly nominate a candidate who will become the CM Punjab,” Zardari expressed these views, while addressing a joint news conference along with his party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Aslam Bhootani, an independent member of the National Assembly from Balochistan, who formally announced his joining the united opposition and other leaders of the opposition parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Answering questions of the journalists, Zardari said that he had invited the PML-Q and they congratulated him at midnight but went somewhere else in the morning.

About the ongoing negotiations with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), he said that the chief minister Sindh and the Sindh cabinet are conducting dialogues with the MQM. “Insha Allah, good news is expected. I believe and hope that the establishment is neutral,” Zardari said.

Opposition agrees to nominate Pervaiz Elahi as Chief Minister Punjab

However, Bilawal said that yesterday (Monday) was a historic day and the united opposition tabled the no-confidence against the ‘selected’ prime minister. He said that Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) too announced to leave this government and support the opposition. A day before that, the Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) announced its support for the opposition, he said.

“Today, we are grateful to Bhootani for standing with the opposition and the Pakistani people at this stage. The united opposition welcomes and salutes Bhootani,” he said.

Responding to questions, the chairman PPP challenged Imran Khan to bring the “letter” before the country. He said that it is Imran Khan’s “habit to make false allegations”. “The numbers of the united opposition were sufficient when the no-confidence was submitted and have only increased since then. It was our desire to take along the allies as we believe that consensus is necessary for electoral reforms in the future,” he said.

Answering another question, Bilawal said, “As far as the MQM-P is concerned, there is not a single demand of theirs that we did not agree to. PPP has decided to find mutual ground with the MQM-P and form a long-term working relationship for the sake of Karachi and Pakistan.”

He claimed that the united opposition has all the numbers and more than they need to defeat Imran Khan. “This is Imran’s last week. No matter what threat he hurls, the united opposition will succeed. The ministers and bureaucracy should realise that it’s their last week too,” he claimed.

Responding to a question about the imposition of the governor’s rule in Sindh, the chairman PPP challenged the government to try to do so.

“We have and always will strive for the provinces to get their rights. People from Balochistan have played the primary role in the no-confidence, as they are coming forward with their decisions, courageously,” he said.

The PPP chairman said, “The Speaker now cannot even think of doing something unconstitutional. We hope that our judiciary will not let rigging take place. Opposition MNA Ali Wazir’s production orders should be issued by the Speaker. We hope that the Speaker will fulfil his responsibility. Imran wants to weaken the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and bring RTS+ through the EVMs to rig the 2023 elections.”

Responding to a question about one of the PPP members, Chairman Bilawal said that it is the right of an individual to be granted bail by the court and the court has done so. I hope that the courts will take contempt action against those who are threatening to go against its orders, he said.

MNA Aslam Bhootani, an independent member, formally announced his joining the united opposition.

“I have been with the government for three and a half years. I will not say that they did not go well. They went well with me but now general elections are coming, we have to see our politics, we have to see what is good for us, Asif Zardari has great favours,” he expressed these words, while announcing to join the joint-opposition.

He said, “Bilawal Bhutto is respectable, my inclination was already towards the united opposition but today I am making a formal announcement at the request of my friends.”

Bilawal said that he welcomes Aslam Bhootani to join the united opposition and salutes him.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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