PESHAWAR: The opposition parties will table a no-confidence motion in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly against Chief Minister Mahmood Khan very soon and have the support of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s 45 members in the 145-strong house, said Pakistan Peoples Party provincial president Najamuddin Khan on Saturday.

The chief minister scoffed at the announcement and challenged the opposition to prove its majority in the assembly.

“The [ruling] Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has two-thirds majority in the assembly, so it faces no threat from the opposition,” he said in a statement.

PPP leader Najamuddin Khan told a presser at his Hayatabad residence here that the opposition parties, including PPP, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Awami National Party, were on the same page on the no-trust issue and would table the motion against the chief minister together.

Mahmood challenges opposition to prove majority in 145-strong house

He, however, didn’t specify any date for it and said the anti-CM move would be made ‘very soon’.

Mr Najamuddin claimed that at least 45 MPAs of the ruling PTI were in contact with different opposition parties and were ready to support the no-trust motion.

Accompanied by party MPAs Amjad Afridi and Badshah Saleh and other leaders, the PPP provincial chief said the no-trust motion would be tabled after voting on a similar motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly.

The PPP has six members in the provincial assembly, including Sahibzada Sanaullah and Badshah Saleh from Upper Dir, Ahmad Kundi from Dera Ismail Khan, Sher Azam Wazir from Bannu, Amjad Afridi from Kohat and Nighat Orakzai elected on a reserved seat.

In a statement issued here, the chief minister laughed off the opposition’s announcement and challenged it to prove majority in the assembly.

“The PTI’s popularity is growing. Not only will our government complete the constitutional term but the party [PTI] will win the next general elections as well,” he said.

The chief minister said the opposition parties had no agenda or manifesto for the people’s welfare.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had done nothing wrong and instead, he had exposed the ‘real faces’ of the people, who usurped national wealth and were trying to hide their corruption.

Meanwhile, culture minister Shaukat Yousufzai told Dawn that the PPP’s claim about the no-trust motion in the KP Assembly was no more than a joke.

He said the opposition party should learn a lesson from its massive defeat in the first phase of local body elections in the province.

“Our routine parliamentary party meeting will be held in Peshawar on Monday to show [PTI’s] strength in the assembly,” he said.

The minister said the PPP had begun misusing the Sindh government’s funds for horse-trading to oust the PTI government instead of focusing on the people’s development.

He said the opposition parties were following the agenda of ‘foreign forces’ as Prime Minister Imran Khan was not ready to bow down to the US and other international powers.

Mr Yousufzai said the refusal of PM Imran Khan to allow the US the use of Pakistani airbases for attacks in Afghanistan and the approval of a resolution in the UN General Assembly to set March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia had upset the US, which, in return, was supporting the opposition against the PTI government.

Also in the day, high education minister Kamran Bangash told a presser here on Saturday that only a ‘politically immature’ leadership could think about tabling a no-confidence motion against the chief minister, who had the support of 94 members in the 145-strong house.

He rejected the PPP’s claim that 45 PTI members of the KP Assembly were in contact it for the no-trust motion.

“The PPP will not get anything from the no-confidence moves both in the centre and KP and instead, both will turn out to be a big letdown for it,” he said.

Mr Bangash said the chief minister had two-thirds majority in the assembly.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2022

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