PPP to go after NA speaker, PTI's provincial govts following PM's ouster, says Khursheed Shah

Published March 12, 2022
PPP leader Khursheed Shah speaks to DawnNewsTV. — DawnNewsTV
PPP leader Khursheed Shah speaks to DawnNewsTV. — DawnNewsTV

PPP leader Khursheed Shah outlined on Saturday his party's subsequent plan in case of the opposition's successful de-seating of Prime Minister Imran Khan through a no-confidence vote, saying that next up on his party's agenda will be the removal of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser before targeting the provinces.

Speaking to DawnNewsTV, Shah said that once the premier is out of the way, the PPP would go after the speaker, "immediately followed by Punjab and then Khyber Pakhtunkhwa".

Shah's remarks come amid a heated political environment in the country as the government and opposition parties trade barbs, hurl accusations at each and step up efforts to gain the support of allies and estranged leaders of the PTI, which is leading a coalition government in the centre, following the submission of a no-confidence motion against the prime minister in the National Assembly secretariat earlier this week.

In a related development, Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked his supporters to gather at Islamabad's D-Chowk a day before the no-trust vote — the session for which is yet to be scheduled — where he intends to hold a power show.

When asked about the opposition's plan to counter this move, Shah said, "We have made it clear [...] it is the decision of the joint opposition to hold a rally at D-Chowk on the same day. And our supporters will be 10 times more than theirs."

To a question about how confident the opposition was of having the support of the PTI's allies on the no-trust motion, he said, "We are confident that they will make the right decision."

He elaborated that political parties made the decisions that favoured them politically and "bearing Imran Khan's burden, bearing inflation's burden" would not benefit them.

"They [political parties] cannot sacrifice their politics for someone else's," he added.

In reply to a question about the steps being taken by the opposition to woo the government's allies, he said they were being approached and meetings were being held with them in a democratic manner.

When questioned about the opposition's plan in case the government barred lawmakers from casting their votes on the no-confidence motion, he said, "They cannot stop us ... this is not a joke. This is not a game."

He cautioned that if the government went ahead with taking any such measure, "the situation in the country will take such a turn that none, including us, can afford".

"No politician, no state can afford anarchy," he said.

The PPP leader also criticised the NA speaker, saying that he had failed to play his role.

"He has been [part of] a party," Shah said.

When asked to share his views on PM Imran's recent remarks, wherein he said only animals were capable of being neutral, Shah referred to a press briefing held by Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar a day earlier.

There, he said, it was clarified that "institutions are neutral". The prime minister's remarks were in response to that, Shah added. "He (prime minister) implied that they were animals."

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