U-turn: PTI MNA Malik Ahmad Hussain Dehr says he is with govt on no-trust vote

Published March 25, 2022
PTI MNA Malik Ahmad Hussain Dehr talks to reporters on Friday. — DawnNewsTV
PTI MNA Malik Ahmad Hussain Dehr talks to reporters on Friday. — DawnNewsTV

Days after claiming that Prime Minister Imran Khan's conduct had forced him to change his loyalty and join hands with the opposition, PTI MNA Malik Ahmad Hussain Dehr said on Friday that he supports the prime minister in the no-trust vote.

Talking to reporters at Parliament House after attending the National Assembly session, Dehr, while replying to a question about where he stood on the no-trust vote, said, "God willing, I am with the government."

When asked whether his concerns had been addressed, he said, "They are [being addressed]. Discussions are being held."

Dehr acknowledged that he had met Prime Minister Imran, saying, "I have some issues that he (PM Imran) will solve. They are being solved and after that, I will support (him)."

In response to another question, the MNA said he was still a part of the ruling party.

Dehr was one of the dissident PTI MNAs, allegedly found staying at the Sindh House in Islamabad earlier this month.

The revelation had come a day after Prime Minister Imran and some cabinet ministers accused the opposition of indulging in horse-trading ahead of the crucial vote on the no confidence resolution, disclosing that Sindh House in Islamabad had become a centre for buying and purchasing members.

But while government members continued to claim that these dissidents had "sold their souls for money", a number of TV channels that sent their teams into Sindh House to verify the claims were faced with nearly a dozen PTI members, who said they had grievances with the ruling party and would vote in "accordance with their conscience".

Talking to the media a few days later, Dehr had criticised the premier and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

"I was disappointed to see that PM Imran himself was meeting PML-N dissident MPAs in Lahore to get their support," he had said and asked how the PTI could call any of its MNAs or MPAs corrupt if they joined hands with the opposition.

Answering a question about how much money he had been offered to vote against the prime minister, the MNA had asked a counter-question that the PM should tell how much money he had offered to the four PML-N MPAs whom he met in Lahore.

Dehr had also leveled allegations of corruption against CM Buzdar, saying that he himself had given bribe at the CM secretariat to get his job done. Asserting that he could prove the bribe case before the PM, he also threw an open challenge to the premier saying, "the PM should resign if I prove corruption at CM Secretariat. I will resign and even leave politics if I fail to prove corruption."

Subsequently, the PTI issued show-cause notices to 13 MNAs, including Dehr, on grounds of alleged defection, and sought an explanation from them by March 26 as to why they may not be declared defectors and disqualified as a member of the National Assembly.

The government had later changed its tone, with Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid appealing to the dissident MNAs to return to the party, assuring them that they would not be questioned.

The government has also filed a presidential reference in the Supreme Court, seeking its opinion on whether the votes of dissident MNAs can be counted and whether there disqualification on grounds of defection under Article 63-A of the Constitution will be permanent.

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