KARACHI: After repeated failure to build a consensus on tabling a no-confidence motion against the prime minister among its allies, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Saturday made it clear that it was the only option to remove Imran Khan and his government and vowed to convince the members of the Pakistan Democratic Movement on the strategy.
Though PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari called on the prime minister to voluntarily step down because of his “failure at all fronts,” he didn’t sound very hopeful about the available options for the opposition parties to bring down the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, calling the parliamentary process the only, legal and democratic option for the PDM and its members.
Says PTI leadership doesn’t trust its lawmakers as far as Senate polls are concerned
“It is the only way out,” he replied to a question about the possibility of a no-confidence motion against the PM by the PDM after addressing a press conference at Bilawal House. “We are not anarchists. We believe in democracy and legal process. This is the only way out, I think. We need to go through the parliament for every move. We will try to bring the PDM and allied parties on one page on this option. We believe in democratic norms and this is why we always resist the role of the establishment in making or breaking governments.”
Only on Jan 1, the PDM held a marathon huddle at the Jati Umra estate of the Sharifs and announced multiple decisions related to its movement. However, talking to journalists after the meeting, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman admitted that there had been no consensus on tabling a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan.
On the other hand, the PPP has finally showed its cards on the issue and while participating in anti-government activities from the platform of the PDM it has spoken its heart out about the possible options to make the opposition’s movement successful.
The PPP chairman during his press conference came up with serious allegations against the PTI government and between the lines accused it of pre-poll rigging ahead of the Senate elections, asking the political and democratic forces to be vigilant.
“We see the government is already making efforts,” said Mr Bhutto-Zardari. “And they would use their ATMs for this [Senate elections]. They are actually in a state of panic and in that state they are making absolutely illogical moves. For instance, they have moved the court on an issue [open vote for Senate elections] which absolutely has no sense. I hope the court would send it [the presidential reference] back to the parliament and issue orders that it was the prerogative of the parliamentarian to decide the matter.”
He said the amendment proposed by the government about Senate elections would badly affect the smaller provinces and the parties from there who got an opportunity to get some representation in the upper house of the parliament.
“This show of hands can be beneficial for major parities like PTI, PML-N and PPP but it would negatively affect our small parties — like nationalist parties or parties from small provinces. The only problem is that the PTI leadership is not ready to trust the party’s MNAs and MPAs. They want them intact and for that purpose this all is happening around us,” he said.
Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021