The joint Opposition on Saturday warned the PTI-led government that if the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan is not tabled on Monday (March 21), then it will stage a sit-in outside the National Assembly.
In a press conference alongside Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, and BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said if NA Speaker Asad Qaiser adopts “undemocratic” practices, the Opposition would resist.
“If this happens, I will convince all the Opposition parties to stage a sit-in outside the NA. If the motion is not tabled Monday we will not disperse from outside the Parliament; then we will see how you will hold the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) conference,” he said.
The PPP chairman said the government was threatening lawmakers against voting in favour of the no-confidence motion — seeking the ouster of PM Imran Khan.
“But despite that, I want to congratulate the people of Pakistan that PM Imran Khan has lost the house’s majority; this is a victory for Pakistanis,” Bilawal said.
Addressing Asad Qaiser, Shahbaz said that he should “come to his senses” and “not become party to Prime Minister Imran Khan.”
“Don’t let democracy derail, otherwise neither history nor the people of Pakistan would forgive you,” Shahbaz said to Qaiser. “If the speaker fails to put the House in order, we will be compelled to stage a protest.”
He added that the Opposition will not allow anyone to violate the Constitution.
Shedding light on yesterday’s incident when hordes of PTI members, including two MNAs, violently protested outside the Sindh House and barged into the building to throw the disgruntled members out, Shahbaz said that “it was not a trivial matter.”
“It was a highly unfortunate incident as rioters invaded the Sindh House,” he said.
He said that the attack on Sindh House was not only about the integrity of Sindh but it was an assault on Pakistan, adding that in a bid to preserve democracy in the country, the Opposition had to swallow a bitter pill and tolerate a lot of things.
Shahbaz maintained that before coming to power, Imran Khan used to stand atop a container and make tall claims about destroying the Opposition, but now he has understood that the no-confidence motion to oust him from the office will be successful.
“Although the PM accused us [the Opposition] of taking a bribe, the government’s allies are testifying that we did not take a single penny from anyone,” said Shahbaz.
He questioned the PTI about engaging in horse-trading in Balochistan and Azad Kashmir, and said that “such a person [PM Imran Khan] can take any step against the constitutional motion of no-confidence.”
“He who believes in victory never wants a fight,” Shahbaz said, adding that all PTI members should have the right to vote in accordance with their consciences.