LAHORE/ISLAMABAD - Following extensive deliberations among the top opposition leaders at the Model Town residence of Mian Shehbaz Sharif, the PPP and the JUI-F Wednesday suggested the names of Mian Shehbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as the future prime minister and the chief minister of Punjab if the planned no-confidence motion in the center and Punjab meets a success.

The three big leaders of the PPP, the PML-N and the JUI-F, Asif Ali Zardari, Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman- had consultation over the names for the slots of PM and the Punjab Chief Minister for over four hours in a bid to sort out modalities of the planned no-confidence motion against the government.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and senior leaders of the PML-N and JUI-F were also part of the meeting.

They included Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Maryam Aurangzeb and JUI-F Parliamentary Leader Maulana Asad-ur-Rehman and Central Leader Akram Khan Durrani.

The PPP and the JUI-F leaders reportedly suggested the name of Ch Parvez Elahi as the future Punjab CM in return for the latter’s support in the center for a PML-N nominee [Shehbaz Sharif].  Mian Shehbaz Sharif sought time to discuss the matter with party Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif who will make a final decision in this regard.

PML-N to seek approval from Nawaz Sharif over Parvez Elahi’s name | Zardari tells Parvez Elahi his name was discussed in meeting as future Punjab CM

Opposition parties likely to move no-confidence motion by next month

The meeting decided to take Ch Parvez Elahi on board over the Opposition’s proposal regarding his possible elevation as the chief minister of Punjab. The PDM chief and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman then dashed to the residence of Chaudhry’s and presented the proposal before Ch Shujat Hussain and Ch Parvez Elahi. He tried to convince them to accept the offer. He, however, made it clear that the offer was subject to the approval of Mian Nawaz Sharif. Sources said that Parvez Elahi and Ch Shujat told Maulana that their party will consider the offer after it gets mature, and the future road map is clear before them

 

Meanwhile, a press release issued by the PML-Q’s media cell said that political situation in the country and issues of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting. Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman was accompanied by his son Asad Mahmood while the PML-Q side was also represented by Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, MNAs Salik Hussain, Hussain Elahi and Shafay Hussain.

 

Following their meeting with the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, a PML-Q delegation led by Ch Parvez Elahi went to Bilawal House Lahore to meet the PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari over dinner. Federal Ministers, Ch Moonis Elahi, Tariq Bashir Cheema and MNAs, Ch Shafay Hussain and Ch Salik Hussain also joined the meeting.

 

Zardari took Parvez Elahi into confidence over his meeting with the PML-N and JUI-F leaders and told him that his name was discussed in the meeting as the future Punjab CM following a planned no-confidence motion in the center and in Punjab. The Chaudhrys reportedly sought certain clarifications regarding the Opposition’s planned move to dislodge the government but remained non-committal till end. They, however, agreed to maintain political contacts in future in view of the changing political situation.

 

A joint communique issued at the end of the meeting said Asif Ali Zardari and Ch Parvez Elahi affirmed their trust in each other and agreed to take all future political decisions through mutual consultations.

 

Also, during the meeting at Model Town, the PPP, the PML-N and the JUI leaders exchanged their views about the numbers required for the success of a no-confidence motion. The insiders that the PML-N claimed to have won the support of the 16 PTI MNAs while the PPP and the JUI-F came up with the figure of 6 and 2 in this regard. It was also decided that a no-confidence motion would be moved against the prime minister first while the same move against the NA speaker and CM Buzdar would be considered at a later stage.

 

They also agreed on the tentative date of moving the no-confidence motion in the second week of March.

 

A joint communique issued at the end of the meeting held at Model Town said that the PPP, PMLN and PDM leaders have formed a committee comprising all opposition parties to determine the political and legal strategy and the timing of no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The leaders took a detailed look at the overall situation in the country and agreed that the entire Pakistan agreed to get rid of the present government as soon as possible. They noted that the scourge of inflation had been unleashed on the people and the brutality with which it continues unabated was unbearable and unacceptable to the people.

 

“The continuous rise in prices of essential commodities including electricity, gas, petrol especially food items had broken the backs of the people especially the poor and the daily-wage earners”.

 

They said that over the last three-and-a-half years, the government had plagued the country by oppressive direct and indirect taxes, consequently the destruction of the economy as a result of reckless policies and decisions, the value of the rupee and the historic increase in domestic and foreign debt. The government that we all agree on must come to the rescue

 

The meeting expressed alarm over the fact that due to the government’s actions, the atmosphere of national unity and solidarity in Pakistan was being severely damaged. Distrust was also building in the constitutional arrangement of resource allocation between the federation and its units which was extremely concerning and damaging national interest. The opposition expressed that it was united and united for the protection and promotion of federalism.

 

They said “The process of transgressing the limits set by the present government in the constitution has now taken an authoritarian and fascist approach in which the latest black laws have been enacted through ordinances. The conspiracy of PECA Laws seeks to make the media, political opponents and every individual, deaf, dumb, blind and tongue-tied. It is to collectively impose dictatorship on the whole country which is not only against the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution, especially the right to freedom of expression but also against the basic concept of national and international human rights and the principles of democratic society. We will challenge and block these unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic measures in every legal forum”.

 

 

Since the PTI’s government has thrice postponed the National Assembly session, the parliamentary opposition factions are planning to move no-confidence motion by the next month.

The main parliamentary opposition parties [PML-N, PPP-P and JUI-F] have still not reached a consensus to move a no-trust motion in the National Assembly against the Prime Minister and Punjab Assembly against the Chief Minister at the same time, background discussions with the opposition parties leaders revealed.

These opposition parties have further increased its meetings to strategize their anti-government campaign in the shape of launching a long march onto the federal capital and moving no-trust motions.

With the gap of two weeks the bigwigs of opposition parties Asif Ali Zardari, Mian Shehbaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rahman held a series of meetings over the anti-government agenda.

Around two weeks before, the opposition on the platform of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had announced to move no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan without mentioning proper ‘time-frame’.

Talking to The Nation, PML-N’s senior leader Mian Javed Latif said that the opposition has received positive signs from members from treasury benches for their support in no-trust motion. “I am confident to defeat the government in no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan with the numerical strength,” said PML-N’s senior leader.

Another senior opposition member, desiring not to be named, said that the PML-N’s senior leadership from London would give final nod to move no-trust motion to the party after completing proper homework. The opposition parties would move a no-trust motion after ensuring its number in the parliament to defeat the government.

The main leadership of opposition parties, with the gap of a week, are also holding meetings with government’s main coalition partners to take their support in an anti-government move.

On the other hand, the senior leadership of the ruling party [PTI] are also confident to thwart all the possible moves. The PTI’s senior leadership would hold meetings with all its allies in the parliament. Prime Minister Imran Khan, after his visit to Russia, is likely to visit MQM-P’s headquarters.

In another development, the MQM-P has categorically opposed PECA ordinance. The Prime Minister , in his meeting, is likely to discuss all the matters related to no-trust motion, anti-government long march and PECA ordinance amendment.

Sources said that the senior leadership of the ruling party [PTI] may also visit the residence of Pakistan Muslim League-Q by the end of this week to discuss the same political matters. ’.

The importance of the 15 votes of main coalition partners [7 MQM-P, 5 PML-Q and 3 GDA] would be much helpful for both the ruling party [PTI] and joint opposition, if the latter intend to move no-trust motion in the national assembly.

As the government had recently defeated the joint opposition only with the 18 votes in all its three ‘attacks’ to block legislation on ‘Mini-budget’, ‘SBP (Amendment) Bill’ and ‘The Election (Amendment) Bill, 2021 [EVM]

Prime Minister Imran Khan has to secure 172 votes in the house, in case the opposition decides to move a no-trust motion.

According to the numerical strength in the national assembly, the PTI’s government has around 178 votes with the support of its allied parties. Whereas, the opposition parties have around 162 votes.

According to the rules “not less than 20 per cent of lawmakers can move a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister, Speaker National Assembly, Deputy Speaker National Assembly”.