Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced on Friday that the opposition alliance had decided to move a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and would contact the PTI government's allies in the centre for this purpose.
He was talking to reporters alongside PML-N leaders Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz after a meeting of the PDM's constituent parties in Lahore.
"All parties in the PDM have agreed on bringing a no-confidence motion against these illegitimate rulers and contacting the government's allies in this regard," he said.
Fazl said the PDM would approach the government's allies and ask them to end their association with the government.
"[We will ask them] to have mercy on this country and nation, considering their impoverished condition," he added. "[We will tell them] that remaining an ally of such a government is not politically and economically beneficial for the country."
The PDM chief said the opposition alliance would be forming a body, whose members would be decided later, for approaching the government's allies and convincing them to join the PDM in tabling the no-trust motion.
When asked when the PDM planned to table the no-confidence motion, he replied: "We will first complete our homework."
He elaborated that they needed to approach the government's allies as their votes were needed in order to move the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.
When asked what the PDM would do if the government's allies refused, he said: "We will sit together."
To another question, he clarified that they would not approach any individuals on the matter and only political parties. "We will not approach individuals. We will [only] talk to parties."
Fazl further said the PDM would also not approach any PTI members and would also not lure parties and individuals with the prospect of giving them seats in parliament.
With regard to the PDM's long march in Islamabad on Pakistan Day, he said that the march would take place as scheduled and the alliance's steering committee had been tasked with working out the details.
The PDM's announcement came hours after PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb said that opposition parties were deliberating on tabling a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the nation would "soon hear good news" in this regard.
A day ago, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz had said the situation for tabling a no-confidence motion against PM Imran was now "favourable".
Former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had met PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam last week in Lahore and pledged to weigh all options to send the premier home, including a no-confidence move and a joint long march.
However, the PML-N’s Central Executive Committee meeting on Monday remained unable to decide on moving a no-confidence motion against the PTI government, leaving it to supreme party leader Nawaz Sharif to take a call on the matter when he deemed appropriate.
In a press talk in Islamabad on Thursday, Maryam admitted that Nawaz was initially not in favour of a no-confidence move against the government. But, she said, "party members pressed him that people's wishes ought to be listened to as it is the only way to steer the country out of crisis."
'Victory for democracy'
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that it was a "victory for democracy" that most opposition parties had now agreed to bring a no-confidence move against the government.
"The prime minister has lost the confidence of the people, it is about time he lost the confidence of parliament," he said.
Fawad challenges opposition to table no-trust move
Meanwhile, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a video message that the "Pakistan Corruption Limited Party" had held a meeting wherein opposition leaders had decided to table a no-trust move against the government.
The minister dared the PDM to move the no-confidence motion by tomorrow, adding that the reality would soon become apparent to the opposition.
"You sit and talk about things and you think that your indictment, set for Feb 18, will be delayed," he said, referring to Shehbaz's indictment in the money laundering case. "It will not happen."
Turning his guns on the PDM chief, Chaudhry said that the Maulana had been trying to send the government packing since day one. "Your arms do not have the strength."
He went on to say that today's PDM meeting had highlighted the "weakness" of the opposition. "You are still saying that you will talk [...] I challenge you to have courage and table a no-trust move by tomorrow," he said, adding that PTI lawmakers, as well as opposition lawmakers, would give them a "surprise".
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid also chimed in and said that today's PDM meeting was a gathering of "an unsuccessful and defeated opposition".
"The failure and early defeat was evident on the faces of the PDM leaders," he said in a series of tweets, adding that the opposition was welcome to fulfil its wishes by tabling a no-trust move and organising a long march.
He went on to say that the opposition did not possess the "manpower" required to organise a long march and was not even aware of the number of votes it would secure from their own parties in parliament.
"The opposition is not capable of defeating PM Imran inside or outside parliament," the minister proclaimed, adding that opposition parties were fighting for their survival.
Rashid said that the opposition was meeting with the government's allies to ask for "charity". "Imran Khan has won. The PDM has lost. The no-trust move has [fallen flat]."
The minister predicted that the opposition would not table the no-confidence motion in parliament and would also not carry out the long march scheduled for March 23, congratulating PM Imran on the "win".