Confident PM says ready to face removal but will never hurt Parliament’s trust

  • Says it’s Parliament’s right to frame, amend Constitution and court has no power to rewrite it
  • Says no one can grab Parliament’s dignity and its Constitutional powers
  • Declares coalition govt only accepts 4-3 verdict of SC bench

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday categorically said he was ready to face the ouster for respecting the Parliament’s decisions, but would never undermine the trust it had reposed in him.

The prime minister, after voluntarily getting the vote of confidence of 180 members of the National Assembly, said it was his duty to respect the Parliament’s decisions.

The resolution for vote of confidence was moved by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari saying, “The National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan reposes its full confidence in the leadership of Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, as the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

Consequently, 180 MNAs arose from their seats to support the resolution.

“Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was unjustly martyred, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified, Yusuf Raza Gilani was disqualified. Today the Parliament has given me the vote of confidence. By God, if they oust me in response to this vote of confidence, I am ready to go back thousands of time but will not let them down,” the prime minister resolved as the members thumped their desks.

He said it was not possible that the court granted a stay on a law passed by the Parliament even before its finalization.

“The framing and amendment of the Constitution is the Parliament’s right. The court has no power to rewrite the Constitution… If the Parliament raises its voice… the threat of contempt is given,” he remarked.

He reiterated that the coalition government would only accept the 4-3 verdict of the Supreme Court bench.

Referring to the Parliament’s decisions on elections, the prime minister said he as well as the government were bound to respect the same.

“The Parliament’s dignity and constitutional status is being challenged. No one can grab the Parliament dignity and its constitutional powers…Insha Allah, I stand by you and will continue to do so,” he assured.

The prime minister thanked the members for the confidence vote and assured them that he would come up to their expectations and never undermine their trust.

He expressed gratitude to the coalition parties leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maulana Asad Mahmood, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Khalid Magsi, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Aimal Wali Khan, Amir Haider Hoti, Shahzain Bugti, Mohsin Dawar, Aslam Bhootani, Allama Sajid Mir, Dr Abdul Malik, Aftab Sherpao and Mehmood Achakzai.

He said Pakistan was faced with utmost challenges jut because of the previous government which was formed through rigged and “fraud” elections.

Recalling the suspension of the RTS system and unnecessary delay in poll results, the prime minister requested the National Assembly Speaker to hold a probe into that rigging to reveal the facts.

He said through its two provincial ministers, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership tried to impede the International Monetary Fund agreement to make the 220 million people of Pakistan suffer.

Blaming Imran Khan for undermining Pakistan’s foreign relations, he said thanks to Allah Almighty, a Russian cargo ship carrying cheaper oil was about to depart from Russia, consequent to the incumbent government’s efforts, particularly the foreign and petroleum ministers.

Referring to the audio leak of ex-Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar and Tariq Raheem, the prime minister said the former had been badly exposed as he was the one who stage-managed the 2018 election for the PTI, besides destroying the institutions, including the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute just to accommodate his brother.

He told the House that despite serious reservations of some of the leaders, the coalition government had agreed to hold dialogue with the PTI through the Senate chairman on a single day election across Pakistan.

He questioned why the court was only concerned about the polls in Punjab only and said nothing about the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections.Whether the elections only in Punjab would not impact the later polls in other provinces, he posed another question.

The prime minister also mentioned the unnecessary delay in the launch of Lahore Orange Line due to the delayed decision by ex-CJP Saqib Nisar just not to let the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) claim the credit of the mega project.

Calling it a double standard, he said Imran Khan got eight bails within “eight minutes” while the arrest warrants were issued against the leaders of other parties just for appearing late before the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) courts.

He also drew the apex court’s attention towards hundreds of the people languishing in the Kot Lakhpat Jail while awaiting the hearing of their bail applications.

Later, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed gratitude to the PML-N Parliamentary Party and the leadership and legislators of coalition parties for their continued trust over him.

In a tweet on Thursday, he said coalition politics is a unique experience in Pakistan’s democratic evolution and we are united in strengthening Parliament.

The National Assembly on Thursday reposed ‘complete’ confidence in Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s leadership.

Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, tabled the resolution, on which 180 Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) voted yes, as opposed to 174 when Shehbaz was elected as the prime minister in April last year.

“The National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan reposes its full confidence in the Leadership of Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, as the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” the resolution read.


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