• Imran holds third meeting with PTI leaders in a week
• MQM, PML-Q complain of being ignored
• Opposition mulls no-trust motion against Sanjrani or Qaiser
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday held a third meeting with the leaders of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in a week amid “shattered” confidence of allies in the government’s policies and the opposition’s threat to topple the government gradually.
The prime minister chaired a meeting of PTI’s core committee which was attended by the governors of Sindh and Balochistan and chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa besides senior leaders of the PTI. Before this he had met party leaders and coalition partners on Thursday and Monday.
Following Friday’s meeting, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said at a press conference that “the coalition parties have also expressed confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan”.
“The PTI core committee meeting discussed various issues, including electoral reforms, local government elections, prevailing situation in Afghanistan, and core inflation in the country,” he added.
On the other hand, two main allies of the PTI — the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) — expressed reservations over the government’s performance and for not taking coalition partners on board on important matters.
The meeting also discussed changing behavior of the government allies and expressed worries about it, according to insiders.
MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said in a TV show that his party’s confidence in the government had shattered because the MQM was not seeing the government heading towards right direction.
He said the MQM could not share responsibility of bad governance by the ruling PTI as former had never been taken into confidence on important national issues. “We are not taken into confidence on important legislation and the documents are given to us on the eleventh hour. How we can support such legislations,” the MQM leader said about the controversial legislation on use of EVMs in next general elections.
“If they (the government) do not take their allies on board, we have no option but to make a decision,” he said, hinting that the MQM could part ways with the government if it did not mend its ways.
He said the MQM could never support faulty economic policies that had created unprecedented price hike in the country. PML-Q Information Secretary Kamil Ali Agha also expressed similar reservation of his party and said the prime minister did not consult the PML-Q in important decision making. “When the government needs our support, like for passage of the budget, it talks to us otherwise not,” he added.
“If the government does not mend its ways we will have to take an ultimate decision,” he warned.
Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar in a public meeting on Friday threatened the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a cluster of some opposition parties, if it staged a long march to Islamabad to topple the government, “people gathered in the public meeting will thrash you”.
The opposition is considering bringing no-confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani or National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar as a tester to ascertain the present strength of treasury in the parliament.
PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Khurram Dastagir said on a DawnNews TV show that the motion would be moved soon. They said if the motion became successful, then a similar motion could be moved against the prime minister.
Mr Dastagir said: “The motion can be moved within two months against the Senate chairman or the NA speaker.”
Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2021