Imran confirms PM Shehbaz to be ‘tested’ with confidence vote

Published January 14, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks in an interview on Saturday. — Hum News screengrab
PTI Chairman Imran Khan speaks in an interview on Saturday. — Hum News screengrab

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be “tested” through a confidence vote in a tit-for-tat move similar to the one he himself had faced as the premier in April.

In an appearance on Hum News show Hum Meher Bokhari Kay Sath, when asked if the incumbent prime minister could be asked to obtain a vote of confidence from the National Assembly, Imran said: “Absolutely, we will test him.”

Imran said Shehbaz had tested the PTI so now the party would turn the tables on the prime minister.

He said the party would hash out the details of the move in a party meeting on Sunday and carry out full planning for not only the trust vote but also “other plans to fully thrust them in a testing situation now”.

It is pertinent to mention that the MQM-P, a key ally of the ruling coalition, has in recent days indicated that it could quit the federal government owing to what it says are unfulfilled promises.

MQM-P sources earlier said that the party had communicated its ultimatum and it would announce its decision at a workers’ convention scheduled to be held on Saturday (today).

‘Will follow the Constitution’

Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi said that he will follow the Constitution if asked to take a “vote of confidence” from PM Shehbaz.

In an interview on Bol News programme ‘Bas Bohat Hogaya’, Alvi said the Constitution has clearly mentioned the way forward in such situations.

“This is speculation that they (PTI) will ask [me to ask PM Shehbaz to take a confidence vote] and I will do it,” he said. “Whatever the Constitution says will be the way forward.”

He added that if the president thinks that the legislature does not have confidence in the government, then he can ask for a vote of confidence.

Separately, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he was “confident” of the government gathering the required number of 172 MNAs in the case of a confidence vote.

However, he added that he did not see such a situation developing or any reason why it should develop.

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