Opposition withdraws no-trust motion against Elahi after ‘securing’ Punjab

LAHORE: Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) parties have withdrawn the motion seeking a no-confidence vote against Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, hours after the governor “de-notified” the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) as chief minister of Punjab, a minister said Friday.

In a tweet, Khawaja Saad Rafique, the minister for aviation and railways, justified the move by saying their objective has been achieved since “both Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa legislatures are now secure.”

“PTI should perform in their remaining governments instead of making unsuccessful attempts to trigger agitation and chaos,” he said, referring to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party.

Separately, a group of opposition lawmakers, headed by Tahir Khalil Sindhu of PML-N, reached Punjab Assembly to withdraw the motion they had submitted late on Monday. The notification of Baligh ur-Rehman, governor of Punjab, to sack Elahi made the notice “infructuous,” he said.

The party, however, clarified that only the no-trust motion moved against Elahi had been withdrawn, and the ones against Sibtain Khan, speaker of the Punjab Assembly, and Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, the deputy speaker, would remain.

Meanwhile, Elahi and other lawmakers of the PML-N and PML-Q started arriving at the Punjab Assembly on Friday afternoon to attend an ongoing session scheduled for today.

The confidence motion card was played to prevent former prime minister Imran Khan, who is backing Elahi in the provincial parliament, from going ahead with the scheduled dissolution of the assembly today.

Khan announced last week he would dissolve two provincial assemblies — Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — on Friday, earlier than scheduled, in an attempt to build pressure on the federal government to hold snap elections.

Once that was done, he had said his party would also resign from the National Assembly that is run by a unity government consisting of his opposition parties.

That scenario would have vacated over 60 percent of the parliamentary seats to make Khan’s snap polls case stronger.

Khan has been demanding snap polls since he was ousted in April after he lost a parliament’s vote of confidence, and led countrywide rallies to mount pressure on the government.

Sharif’s unity government has rejected the demand, reiterating repeatedly that the elections will be held on schedule in October 2023.

— With Reuters

Must Read

Meeting the IMF MD

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is still cagy about how much Pakistan will ask for Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has met IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva in...

Epaper_24-04-21 ISB

Epaper_24-04-21 LHR

Epaper_24-04-21 KHI