Rasheed advises PM to impose Governor’s rule in Sindh

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Thursday that he has advised Prime Minister Imran Khan to impose Governor’s rule in Sindh.

Talking to the media here on Thursday, the minister accused the Sindh government of “buying and selling” lawmakers’ votes, terming it a “conspiracy against democracy”.

“We are not sending police to Sindh House as they (dissident PTI lawmakers) went to Sindh House because of their greed for money,” he said, adding that the matter was between the lawmakers and their constituents.

He claimed that the PTI MNAs had been “attracted by money”, saying it was a very good thing that they had been “exposed”.

The interior minister said the session of the National Assembly could be called on March 21 while the government has announced holidays in the capital on March 21, 22 and 23 in view of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit.

“After March 25, it will be Sheikh Rashid, the media and Imran Khan’s support. There will be a sea of people on the 27th,” he said referring to the PTI’s planned rally at Islamabad’s D-Chowk.

Addressing a press conference later, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Ahmed made the recommendation in his capacity as an interior minister and an important ally of the government.

“[He said] what Sindh government has done is a flagrant violation of the Constitution,” Fawad told the media, adding that it was an important matter and the government would deliberate upon the interior minister’s advice.

Earlier today, at least five dissident MNAs from the ruling PTI, who are staying at the Sindh House in Islamabad, came out in the open, with Raja Riaz and Malik Nawab Sher Waseer saying they would vote on the no-confidence motion tabled against the prime minister in “accordance with their conscience”.

TV footage showed several other lawmakers from the ruling PTI — including MNAs Noor Alam Khan and Basit Bukhari — staying at the facility, giving a clear indication which side they were tilting towards in the upcoming vote that will decide the fate of the prime minister.

Riaz, who is a member of the Jahangir Tareen group, spoke to Geo News senior anchor Hamid Mir and said there were around 24 PTI lawmakers staying at the Sindh House, citing fears of government action against them similar to the March 10 raid by police on Parliament Lodges.

A day earlier, the government claimed the opposition had detained some ruling party lawmakers at Sindh House ahead of the vote after a statement by Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi that around a dozen MNAs belonging to the PTI had ‘gone missing’.

The premier said in a public address on Wednesday that opposition leaders were sitting in Sindh House with “heaps of money” to purchase loyalties of treasury lawmakers and had asked the election commission to take action against the alleged horse-trading.

PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi had earlier confirmed the stay of some lawmakers at Sindh House during a press conference with PPP MNA Shazia Marri. “Every member has a right to stay there. These members are from the opposition and our allies,” he had said, adding that MNAs had been kept there as they feared they could be kidnapped ahead of the no-trust vote.

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