Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry exuded confidence on Monday in the face of the opposition's no-confidence motion against the prime minister, saying "the government holds all the cards" and maintaining that no one from the ruling PTI would betray Imran Khan.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference soon after the PTI's core committee meeting, Chaudhry termed the three major oppositions leaders as "three jokers" before adding: "The government, the politics, and the future belong to us."
When asked if the umpire — a reference to the military establishment — was also still standing by the government's side, Chaudhry responded: "These three things get together only when everyone is together."
He called out PPP Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for their alleged attempts to bribe some PTI lawmakers and tempt them into switching loyalties.
"Two of our members have been offered Rs160 million and Rs200m but they have rejected the offer and informed us as well," Chaudhry said.
He said that by challenging the PTI, the opposition "has woken up a sleeping tiger".
He expressed hope that the MQM-P, the Balochistan Awami Party, the Grand Democratic Alliance and the PML-Q "will remain the allies of the PTI", adding that the party had a detailed discussion with representatives of those parties on their grievances.
He said the support of the PML-Q to the government would be crucial "this time too".
The minister said the government wanted the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to convene the assembly session as soon as possible, but added that the "date of the session should not coincide with the schedule of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting scheduled in Islamabad on March 22 and 23".
He insisted that Imran Khan had never been "blackmailed" before and would never fall prey to such tactics in the future as well.
Earlier, PTI's Aamir Kiyani said the party was set to hold a "historic" rally at D-Chowk and that the PTI was expecting to gather at least one million participants.