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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the joint-opposition has proven its majority in the National Assembly and Prime Minister Imran Khan has practically become “former prime minister”.

“Imran Khan used the National Security Council (NSC) for his political benefits. A platform like the NSC should be kept “for only serious threats” and not for scoring any political points,” he added.

“Vote of no-confidence is a democratic, constitutional and parliamentary procedure and we want to go through this process peacefully. If the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government or anyone who tries to create any hurdle or stop any Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from going to the Parliament for voting on no-confidence resolution against the prime minister then such activity would be charged under Article 6 (treason) of the Constitution. If the speaker National Assembly takes any unconstitutional step then Article6 will be invoked against him,” Bilawal expressed these views, while addressing a news conference on Friday.

He said that the prime minister has lost the Constitutional battle but he is refusing to accept it and is “rolling on the pitch crying”.

The PPP chairman claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan has attacked the country’s foreign policy with his narrative of an international conspiracy against him. “The PTI government’s foreign policy has isolated Pakistan globally,” he claimed.

Dismissing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s allegations that opposition was involved in a “foreign-funded conspiracy” to topple his government, Bilawal urged the premier to leave his office “respectfully” and not look for any “face-saving”.

“The decision [to table no-confidence motion] was taken long before Imran Khan’s visit to Russia. We took many decisions during our Central Executive Committee meeting in January 2022,” he said.

He said that if the alleged “threat letter” was such a serious issue then it would have been brought to light immediately. The prime minister is using the alleged letter to save himself, his actions are maligning the image of Pakistan as well as national institutions,” he claimed.

He said that the opposition had been struggling to oust the PTI-led government for the past three years. “Did we know that the prime minister was going to visit Russia? Did we know that Russia was going to attack Ukraine? The prime minister, at least tell people “lies” which sound like truth,” he remarked.

“If a common man had said something like what the prime minister is saying it would have been fine but when it comes from the mouth of a country’s leader, it damages the country,” he said, and added that a routine diplomatic process has been made controversial.

Bilawal said “during the PPP’s government, when our troops were martyred, then President Zardari and the Parliament stood for the country. We disconnected the NATO supplies and demanded of them to apologise to the Pakistani nation. We were pressurised to become a part of the Arab Spring during our government. We had said at that time that we are neutral. Then President Zardari was told by the then US Vice President, Joe Biden that “you are standing on the wrong side of history”. Afterwards, he admitted to President Zardari that Zardari Sahib was right not to join Arab Spring.”

Answering a question, Bilawal said the prime minister should fight under the Constitutional process honourably and should not seek a “face saving or a backdoor exit”. “You (Imran Khan) were “imposed” upon this nation… it is about time you should think about your acts. Our steps would strengthen the democracy in this country,” he added.

“We (the opposition) have decided to bring electoral reforms [after the PTI government is removed] and then move forward with new elections in the country... we want the new government to have a mandate from the people and solve problems of the people,” he said.

“PTI government not only slowed down the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in its tenure but its ministers made it controversial by giving statements about involvement of corruption in development projects,” he claimed.

Answering a question, he said that the PTI criticised Nawaz Sharif when Modi came to visit Pakistan, but Imran himself went to visit Modi when he was in the opposition and used to “praise his policies”.

He said that the country is in a severe financial crisis and it is our responsibility to stop it from getting any worse. It is also our responsibility to save the country from any kind of Constitutional crisis or conflict, Bilawal said.

The PPP chairman said that the prime minister used to say that he is very happy about the no-confidence motion against him but when he came to know that he is about to lose, he started blabbering about an international conspiracy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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