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Fawad urges NA speaker to convene assembly session ‘immediately’ to end political uncertainty


Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday called upon the speaker of the National Assembly to convene a session of the lower house “as soon as possible” in order to “wrap up” the opposition’s no-confidence motion against the prime minister, adding that the country was not in a position to afford political chaos for a long time.

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.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Chaudhry claimed that the PTI had the support of at least 184 lawmakers in the National Assembly — sufficient to doom the opposition’s motion.
“I challenge the opposition to bring the motion to House if they have 172 numbers,” the minister said as he addressed a press conference alongside Energy Minister Hammad Azhar in Islamabad.
He said the government would not hold any talks with the opposition, adding that “we tried to talk to them on electoral reforms and other matters of public interest but they did not respond to us”.
Chaudhry said the fading popularity of the PPP and the PML-N, the two main opposition parties, due to their corruption would result in their downfall.
He criticised 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.
“Is the EU your relative?” Chaudhry questioned as he explained 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.
He shut the door of any negotiations with the opposition, declaring that “we will deal with them as is done with criminals.”
Questioned on whether the allies still stood with the government, Chaudhry said “good meetings” were held with them and they were with the “strong government”.
“Matters are in super control and you will see more clearly in the next one to two days,” he added.
Meanwhile, Azhar said the opposition was not able to tolerate the economic feats of the PTI government. “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 people”.

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