As the date for voting on the no-confidence move draws near, the opposition parties try hard to reach an understanding with the PTI’s disgruntled allies in different provinces. It goes to the discredit of the PTI that instead of winning over the estranged allies and party dissidents, important ministers have made fun of them thus leaving no option for them other than supporting the opposition’s no-confidence move. Fearing arrests, a dozen PTI defectors have reportedly taken shelter in Islamabad’s Sindh House with the aim of proceeding, under protection provided by the opposition, straight to Parliament House on the voting day. The PTI which was earlier confident of commanding a majority in the National Assembly is now having second thoughts with a dejected Interior Minister Sh Rashid Ahmad claiming that Prime Minister Imran Khan would be the ‘ultimate winner’ whether he wins or loses the confidence vote, and Sen Faisal Javed telling disgruntled allies and PTI defectors that it would be difficult for anyone leaving PM Imran to win in the 2023 polls
Imran Khan once again violated the ECP’s directives not to hold a public meeting in Swat where local body elections are about to be held. Speaking at a large public meeting in Swat, Mr Khan told the crowd that he wanted a ‘sea of support’ outside Parliament House on 27 March. A day earlier, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had dared dissenters to come to vote, saying one million people would be waiting to welcome them at D-Chowk on March 27. Imran Khan’s call was reminiscent of US President Trump’s signal to the neo-fascist “Proud Boys” to march to the Capitol which led to ransacking of the Capitol where there was wholesale vandalism and lawmakers had to hide in fear.
A PM is expected to respect the constitution and follow the law. A no-confidence move is a normal practice in democracies. In case the PM thinks the opposition is committing any illegality, he can take the matter to court. When a PM violates the ECP’s code, this indicates a defiance of constitutional institutions. Calling the mobs to dictate to Parliament is a practice that is only followed by fascists. There is a need on the part of the PM to cancel the gathering followed by the opposition calling off its rally to save the system.