Now it’s for Shehbaz to take trust vote: Imran Khan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Saturday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be “tested” through a confidence vote in a tit-for-tat move similar to the one he himself had faced as the premier in April last year.

Speaking to a private news channel, Imran said that Shehbaz had tested the PTI so now the party would turn the tables on the prime minister.
He said that he would give Shehbaz so much tension that the PM will have to take sleeping pills. But the PTI chairman did not reveal his plans.

Imran said that they would dissolve the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly within a week after dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

The PTI chairman further said that the party would hash out the details of the move in a party meeting on Sunday and carry out full planning for not only the trust vote but also other plans.

He said that the Pakistan Democratic Alliance and the government do not understand that the time has changed.

Referring to the recent vote of confidence taken by Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Pervaiz Elahi, Imran Khan lauded PMLQ leader Moonis Elahi for ‘working hard’ at the last moment to achieve the required numbers.

He said that ministers from Sindh came along Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to buy PTI parliamentarians. “Our MPs were also receiving calls from unknown numbers. They were being told that Imran Khan was not going to come to power.”

Imran said that establishment tried to break us. “Where the establishment stands, Punjab stands there. It never happened that Punjab stood against the establishment. The real change happened when Punjab stood against the establishment,” he said.

He said that the sacrifice Pervaiz Elahi gave has been much appreciated in the PTI. He said that they were suggesting Pervaiz Elahi to merge his party with the PTI.

He said that in upcoming polls only PTI ticket will win, so it was also in the PMLQ interest.

He said that there was a need of strong government which can take difficult decisions.

Imran said that “those who were doing political engineering; they are uniting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement; asking Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) to join Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP); bringing PPP to south Punjab; Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam being backed in the KP, and in Punjab MPs are being asked to join Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) saying that Imran Khan’s name has been crossed.”

He said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman name was also crossed and the country had gone to the dogs. He said that Karachi was destroyed in an attempt to sabotage the PPP by creating the MQM. He said that Nawab Akbar Bugti’s name was crossed and Balochistan has never been normal since then. “You destroy your own country by putting a cross on name,” he said.

He said that Pakistan needs a stable government but engineering is being done to bring an unstable one.

Coming to the PDM government he said that such powerless government cannot come, adding that they cannot unite until an order comes from the GHQ. He said the government cannot take a single dicision and that all were making money.

About assassination attempt on him, Arshad Sharif murder case, Azam Swati and Shahbaz Gill episodes, Imran said that “if you do this your country and no judicial institution budges on this. Your courts do not protect your fundamental rights, then there is no difference between a banana republic and this [country].”

He said that all state institutions will have to join to cope with the current situation.

The PTI chief said that establishment’s and his interests are same. If the country goes down like Sri Lanka or Egypt, it will be a loss for the establishment

He said that if our security was compromised like those of Sri Lanka and Egypt then this country would break.

He said that for reconciliation they should tell Azam Swati that they have done wronf and they apologise for that. “They should tell me that they tried to kill me and they apologise for that. They should ask Shahbaz Gill . . . we are ready to forgive them.”

He said that thrashing and threaten people was a negative role of establishment, and in this way country is being turned into a banana republic. He said that establishment should play a positive role by establishing rule of law.

The PTI chief said that he was not talking about institutions; he was talking about individuals responsible for the situation.

He said that establishment should apologise first and then move forward. He said that they should do positive things instead of bring out deep fake videos.

He said that those people haven’t learnt any lesson from the history, adding that this political engineering has destroyed the country. Imran advised them to think about the country, not their petty interests.

He said that they should only hold free and fair elections.

He said that no one has trust in the current Election Commission of Pakistan. He said that ECP’s “wrong decisions: have been turned down by the courts. He alleged that the ECP was working on an agenda.

Coming to the progress on economy in the PMLN governments in the past, Imran said that Ishaq Dar bankrupted the economy in 1999 and 2018. He said that there was zero increase in exports during the PMLN governments.

During today’s interview, Imran Khan claimed that former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa had approached him through army officers for the extension, adding that he had never thought about extending the tenure of former army chief.

The former premier further said that his party’s senior leaders and two army officers convinced him to grant extension to the ex-army chief.

“They all convinced me for extension but the final convincing argument presented by one army officer was that Gen Bajwa was saying that politics will start against Bajwa and he will face difficulties if not granted extension,” he remarked.

Imran said he told the “six witnesses” that giving extension to then army chief was against his “instinct”

Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi said that he will follow the Constitution if asked to take a “vote of confidence” from PM Shehbaz.

Arif Alvi said the Constitution has clearly mentioned the way forward in such situations.

“This is speculation that they (PTI) will ask [me to ask PM Shehbaz to take a confidence vote] and I will do it,” he said. “Whatever the Constitution says will be the way forward.”

He said that if the president thinks that the legislature does not have confidence in the government, then he can ask for a vote of confidence.

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