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ISLAMABAD: All eyes are on the National Assembly (NA) that is going to vote on the no-confidence motion today to decide the fate of Prime Minister Imran Khan, with both treasury and opposition engaged in intense planning and lobbying to foil each other's plans.

The development coincides with the election of the leader of the house by the Punjab Assembly today following Usman Buzdar's resignation as chief minister.

The lower house of the Parliament’s session is scheduled to meet at 11: 30 am to vote on the no-confidence motion against PM Imran.

For the motion to succeed, the joint opposition requires the support of 172 MNAs.

Reports from the ruling camp suggest that PM Imran, in his capacity as Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), held a detailed meeting with his close aides on Saturday, and decided that PTI lawmakers would participate in the no-confidence motion— to vote against this motion, in favour of the PM.

Crucial NA session adjourned till April 3

Previously, the treasury had decided that its members would be absent on the voting day, leaving it to the opposition to attain the required strength of 172 members in the 342-seat NA to vote out the PM.

It is learnt that PT leadership is considering different options to survive the no-confidence motion including declaring the votes of dissident PTI lawmakers, who would vote against the PM, as invalid or challenged votes and not counting them, wooing the support of the dissident lawmakers and some lawmakers from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) as well as others.

In a related development, the PM assigned Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry the additional charge of the Law Ministry.

The minister, immediately after assuming charge of the Law Ministry, issued directives Saturday for setting up a commission on probing “foreign conspiracy” against the PTI government in a bid to take to task the elements behind this move.

In the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, the parliamentary parties of PTI and its key ally Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) held a detailed meeting in Lahore in which senior leaders from both sides participated, Business Recorder has learnt.

The government’s candidate for CM Punjab and PML-Q bigwig Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is said to have assured PTI leaders in the meeting that he would manage to not only outrival the PML-N and PPP in the CM Punjab election but also render the no-confidence motion against the PM unsuccessful.

Sources said that Elahi is in contact with several dissident PTI legislators as well as some leaders of BAP and these contacts are being facilitated with the direct involvement of Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani and Senator Manzoor Kakar, BAP Secretary-General.

No-confidence motion: Crucial NA session adjourned again

The PM, it is also learnt, is of the view that he should survive the no-confidence motion “at every cost” in order to defeat the joint opposition but he does not plan to continue running the government. “The PM would survive this no-confidence move. Thereafter, he would have the National Assembly dissolved to pave the way for general elections—that’s the plan,” a key member of PM Khan’s federal cabinet told Business Recorder, requesting anonymity. The source said that the results of local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the PTI secured a sweeping victory affirmed that public support is with Imran Khan and the party leadership believes PTI would secure an overwhelming majority if general elections are held in the near future.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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