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Mystery shrouds Opposition’s number-game for no-confidence move against PM

Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto have offered Premiership to Shehbaz Sharif if no-trust move succeeds against PM Imran Khan

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: The Opposition leaders are holding decisive meetings here and there to give final shape to table a no-confidence move against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the parliament.

PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) president Maulana Fazlur Rehman called on PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif at his Model Town residence in Lahore where former premier Nawaz Sharif joined them from London via a video link.

JUI(F) Supremo Maulana Fazlur Rahman also held a separate meeting with Shehbaz before the arrival of the PPP leaders in which they discussed the numbers game at length.

The Opposition parties are trying to table a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan in March with MNAs belonging, PML-N, PPP, and JUI-F and those who were approached separately to take them onboard in the move, a participant of meeting said.

The meeting also discussed the name of leader who can be the prime minister in case the motion succeeds.

“Talking about the next premier, one of the leaders (Mr Zardari) suggested the name of Shehbaz at which the latter chuckled.”

PPP chairman Bilawal has already offered the Sharifs the prime minister’s slot (in case the opposition’s move is successful). In the meeting Asif Zardari had been entrusted with finalising matters with the government allies — PML-Q, MQM and BAP — and making sure the coalition partners part ways with M Imran Khan.

Regarding the numbers game, the source said, the three opposition parties exchanged notes about the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) parliamentarians they had contacted and sought support for their move against the premier. “The PML-N presented the names of 16, PPP six and JUI-F two PTI MNAs that these parties believe have been won over and are ready to ditch the Imran Khan.

As the PTI coalition is hanging on a thin majority, this number is more than enough to oust PM Khan, a source said. Opposition parties were also confident of winning support of MNAs belonging to estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen group.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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