ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed pre-confidence scenario on Thursday with COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. General Faiz Hameed held a detailed meeting at PM House. According to sources, overall political situation and national security were discussed in detail.
Imran Khan is to seek a vote of confidence afresh from the National Assembly on Saturday.The political situation is in full swing and Government and opposition both are very active to achieve their goals.
The three leaders discussed matters pertaining to internal and external security in the meeting.
It may be mentioned here that the meeting took place a day after the governments Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh faced a shock victory in the Senate elections in Islamabad triggering calls from the Opposition leaders for the prime minister to resign.
Army Chief General Bajwa and Lt Gen Faiz Hamid last called on Imran Khan on February 1, 2021, for a meeting wherein the three talked about matters pertaining to national security.
The Pakistan Army Chief had lauded the ISI’s tireless efforts towards national security during a visit to the intelligence headquarters last month.
Prime Minister Khan decided to take a vote of confidence from the lower house of Parliament after the government coalition-backed candidate Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost a Senate seat from Islamabad to a joint candidate of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Mr Shaikh suffered defeat at the hands of Gilani in a major upset in Wednesdays Senate polls as the latter secured 169 votes as against 164 bagged by the former. The rejected votes played a key role in the opposition candidates win as these exceeded the margin of victory.
addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said the prime minister has announced to take a vote of confidence from the Parliament. The nation will now know as to who is standing on which side, he had added.
The foreign minister had said that the government tried all its efforts to pave way for Senate elections, however, the opposition foiled all such attempts. He further lamented that the ECP was responsible to hold free and fair polls, however, it failed in performing its duty.
Imran Khan on Thursday, a day after announcing to take a vote of confidence from National Assembly, said that he is not a coward and knows how to fight.
As per details, PM Imran Khan said that this war is not over and he will continue to expose corrupt practices of the opposition parties and vowed to approach every forum to ensure transparency.
He further said that he is not afraid of tricks of political opponents but cannot run government under any fear or pressure. Will not remain silent or change my mission just to stay in power, he added.
The premier further said that he knew beforehand that opposition will use money to buy votes for Senate elections. He also asked lawmakers to openly express their reservations if they don’t have confidence in him.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also nominated Sadiq Sanjrani for the Chairmanship of upper house of the Parliament. The prime minister, after an upset win at the hands of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Senate election on Islamabad seat, has also decided to take vote of confidence from the National Assembly.
Address to the nation
On Thursday, Imran Khan vowed that whether or not he is in power, he will never let the corrupt off the hook and will rally the nation against them.
While addressing to the nation he said, “Whether I am in the government or out of the Assembly, I will not spare them.”
A day earlier, the government candidate Abdul Hafeez Sheikh lost to Opposition candidate Yousuf Raza Gillani on an Islamabad general seat in a major blow to the government.
PM Imran Khan, as he began his address, said that he wishes to discuss what happened yesterday.
“This is important because what problems our nation suffers from stem from the very situation that unfolded yesterday,” he said.
He said that the country’s leadership comes from within the members of parliament “and here you have people becoming Senators after bribing others.”
“What kind of democracy is this? So I began a campaign for open balloting,” PM Imran Khan said.
The premier said in the 2018 Senate elections, the party found that 20 lawmakers “sold themselves off.”
“But it was not just me that had started this. The PML-N and PPP signed a Charter of Democracy favoring the open balloting method because money rules in the Senate elections,” he continued.
“We presented a bill in the parliament for open balloting in Senate elections. When other parties who previously supported open balloting did not support our demand, we went to the Supreme Court.
“Even a video surfaced in which KP MPAs were receiving bribes in exchange for Senate votes,” said PM Imran Khan.
The Supreme Court told the Election Commission of Pakistan that it is the electoral body’s responsibility to hold transparent elections, he said.
The prime minister said that meanwhile, the Opposition parties banded together to demand a secret ballot, whereas in the past they had agreed on an open ballot.
PM Imran Khan said they were saying it is “unconstitutional” and “non-democratic” but asked was it not so before when they signed the Charter of Democracy.
“They even had a Senate bill asking for open ballot.”
“I had predicted on the very first day, they will all stand together and their sole interest will be to put so much pressure on me that I relent and wrap up their cases,” PM Imran Khan said.
He said that they “blackmailed” the government on a “rigged election” and then criticised the coronavirus response.
PM Imran Khan also spoke of the Financial Action Task Force’s listing of Pakistan as a “grey list” country.
He explained that Pakistan is required to do what FATF says, otherwise it will be “blacklisted” and “sanctioned.” “What does NAB have to do with any of this? They have a one-point agenda to pressure me to get an NRO,” he said.
PM Imran Khan said they planned to “use money” to “break our party apart” and bring PTI lawmakers over to their side.
“When Hafeez Sheikh was sought by them to lose, it was so the government loses majority and to paint the perception that party members walked over to their side, so a no confidence motion could be moved,” he said.
He then went on to explain his political struggle. “Imran Khan is the only politician who had everything before he came to power. I am the only Pakistan, most probably, who was the most famous one before I came into politics. I had money enough to last me a lifetime,” he said.
“So why did I come into politics?”
“I was among the very first Pakistani generation who were born in an independent country […] Pakistan used to have a respected status in the world before. Our prime minister back in the day, was received by the American president when he visited the US,” the prime minister said.
“After 1985, our country started going downwards,” the prime minister said, adding that it was this that prompted his struggle.
He said that justice and rule of law is the only difference in the world why some countries around the world prosper while others, despite having plenty resources, fail to progress.
“My struggle was meant to make the powerful accountable,” the premier explained.
In the end, the prime minister said that when Yousaf Raza Gillani becomes a senator and “will allow corrupt practices to prevail, what example will we set for the upcoming generation?”