No-trust vote: PM Imran says will 'take three wickets in one ball'

Published March 11, 2022
PM Imran addresses a public gathering in Lower Dir on Friday. – Photo courtesy PMO Twitter
PM Imran addresses a public gathering in Lower Dir on Friday. – Photo courtesy PMO Twitter

Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed on Friday a huge public gathering in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lower Dir, where he lashed out at all three party heads – PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman – who have joined hands to file a no-trust motion against him.

Terming them the "three stooges", Imran recalled instances from the past when, according to him, these leaders had gone against Pakistan's national interest.

He said he had been praying that they go ahead with their plan to file a no-confidence motion against him so that he was given an opportunity to " take three wickets in one ball".

"I am competing against these three dacoits and ... I will take all three wickets with one inswing yorker," the premier repeated.

He also alleged that the opposition had been demanding an NRO from him.

"They tell me that they will topple my government if I don't close corruption cases against them. But I tell them that I will not close the cases even if I have to give my life for it. I am not doing politics against you but fighting a jihad."

The prime minister further accused the opposition of trying to bribe the lawmakers of the PTI and its allied parties and buy their votes to make the no-confidence motion a success.

Urging people to side with the good, he said, "Humans side with the good ... Only animals are neutral as they cannot differentiate between the good and evil."

He said he had called on people to gather at Islamabad's D-Chowk a day before the session for voting on the no-confidence motion, which is yet to be scheduled.

On that day, the premier said, there would be a sea of people at D-Chowk.

PM Imran said he had asked people to gather at D-Chowk to convey the message to the opposition that the nation was standing with the good and against the evil.

The premier termed voting on the no-confidence motion "a match in parliament" and said, "You will see what I do with them after winning this match."

'Gen Bajwa asked me not to call Fazl diesel'

Earlier in his speech, the prime minister referred to Fazl as "diesel" but then went on to say that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa told him not to refer to Fazl as diesel.

"I was just talking to Gen Bajwa and he told me not to refer to Fazl as diesel. But Gen Bajwa I am not the one who is saying that. The people have named him diesel," the prime minister said.

The premier said that in a recent media talk, Fazl had said when he comes to power, he would "mend an institution". This, the premier said, was a reference to Pakistan Army.

"Today, Pakistan exists because of the army," the prime minister said. "Will these people fix the army?" he questioned.

The premier held the opposition leaders responsible for the Pakistani passport losing respect in the world.

"They have been ruling this country for the past 30 to 35 years. They took loans and indebted this country, and they bowed before the world's big powers," he said, adding that neither Zardari nor PML-N supremo had condemned drone strikes carried out by the US in Pakistan during their tenures as the president and prime minister, respectively.

On the other hand, he continued, his government's vision was to transform Pakistan into a welfare state, along the lines of the state of Madinah.

"Look at my manifesto, in which I outlined three goals. Firstly, I said that we would make Pakistan a self-respecting nation, make it stand on its feet," he said. "Secondly, that we would make our country a welfare state similar to the state of Madinah and thirdly, we would install a system of justice. We would bring the powerful under law."

Reiterating that he intended to make Pakistan a welfare state similar to the state of Madinah, he outlined various measures, including the issuance of health cards and the recent reduction in petrol prices by Rs10, taken by his government in this regard.

"We are now on the path to becoming [a state like Madinah]," he said. "Pakistan will become an example for the world," he added.

As he again turned his gun on opposition leaders, the premier referred to an incident of an Indian "high-speed flying object" falling in Khanewal's Main Channu yesterday.

"An Indian missile entered Pakistan yesterday," he said. "But when Nawaz Sharif was in power, he never spoke against [Indian Prime Minister] who was calling the Pakistan Army terrorists at the time."

Instead, he continued, Nawaz directed the Foreign Office not to issue statements against India.

The premier attributed these actions to leaders having outside the country.

"And leader whose assets are abroad will never devise an independent foreign policy that focuses on protecting the nation and its rights," he said.

"But neither have I ever bowed before anyone nor will I ever let you bow before you anyone," he assured.

Shehbaz, Fazl respond

Later, Shehbaz and Fazl responded to the allegations levelled against them by the premier, saying that he should introspect before targeting his political rivals.

Speaking to the media alongside Shehbaz, Fazl also criticised the premier over what he described as the use of disrespectful language.

"Your speeches clearly show that you are not capable of serving as a prime minister," he said.

He urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to take notice of the public meetings being attended by PM Imran following the submission of the no-confidence motion against him and asserted that the opposition had enough votes to oust the premier.

When asked whether he had complained to the army chief about PM Imran calling him names, Fazl replied in the negative.

"I have never engaged in such politics. Everyone knows about my views. I've always been against civil and military bureaucracy meddling in politics," he said.

Fazl said his party was waging "jihad" against PM Imran, who had been "exposed".

When it was his turn to speak, Shehbaz referred to the prime minister asking people to gather at D-Chowk a day before the no-trust vote and said "we are prepared to confront [you] politically".

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