No-trust move: Political meetings in full swing, wheeling and dealing continues

A series of meetings of political leaders took place in Islamabad Wednesday as PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari accepted the invitation of PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to participate in the long march.

Zardari and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif held separate meetings with the PDM chief.

Earlier, a delegation led by Fazl and Shahbaz met leaders of MQM-P in an attempt to complete the number of parliamentarians required for the success of the no-trust move against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Fazlur Rehman, after the meeting, told journalists that they were satisfied with talks held with the government allies. The MQM delegation comprised Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Amir Khan and Aminul Haq.

The MQM leaders told the delegation that they would respond after taking up the issue with the party’s rabta committee.

After the meeting concluded, sources revealed that the MQM-P delegation agreed to support the Opposition’s no-trust move if “certain demands” were met.

During a conversation with journalists, Shahbaz was asked as to what was causing the delay in reaching an agreement with the government allies. At this, the PML-N president said it would be better if the government allies were asked the same question.

The meeting between ex-president Zardari Fazl took place at the residence of the PDM chief, where both sides discussed relating to the anti-government long march and no-confidence move.

Fazl, later, said that he wanted to visit Asif Zardari. “But I am thankful that Zardari came to him,” he told journalists.

Fazl said that Zardari had already accepted the invitation. Later, talking to newsmen after meeting with Shahbaz, the PDM president ruled out the cancellation of the long march.

“Keep this question to yourself,” he told a journalist.

Shahbaz said the Opposition leaders desired the success of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) foreign ministers’ session — scheduled from March 22-23 in Islamabad — and expressed complete solidarity with the participants.

PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq accompanied Shahbaz during the meeting.

With the National Assembly session voting on the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan just weeks away, the government is trying to woo its allies for supporting it during the voting process.

The Opposition is also attempting to cajole the PTI allies and seeking to break the government alliance in the lower house — by holding back-to-back meetings with them.

PM Imran Khan has said that he is ready for everything that the Opposition plans to throw his way — but he has also intensified meetings with allies ahead of the no-trust motion session.

Both — the government and the Opposition — are set to hold massive rallies in Islamabad before the crucial session — with the government’s gathering scheduled for March 27, while the Opposition’s “long march” will take place after March 25, once the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) session ends.

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