PTI has enough numbers to foil no-trust move: Fawad

ISLAMABAD, Mar 9 (APP):Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Wednesday said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had enough numbers to foil the opposition’s no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said the prime minister had support of more than 179 Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) and the number might touch 184 with the inclusion of five more legislators of other political parties in the PTI’s ranks.

The PTI leadership had already requested NA Speaker Asad Qaiser to summon the session at the earliest as the country could not afford political instability amid the global recession, he said while addressing a news conference along with Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar.

Fawad rejected the opposition’s claim of having the support of 185 MNAs. It was for the opposition to manage the support of 172 MNAs at the time of voting on the no-trust motion.

“I challenge the opposition parties to show their people in the media if they have enough numbers,” he added.

At the outset, the minister recapped the 1989 political episode when a no-confidence motion was moved against the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“I will take back you to the time of 1989 when a no-confidence motion was brought (against the prime minister) for the first time in the country’s history, with Nawaz Sharif, IJI (Islami Jamhoori Ittehad) and even Fazlur Rehman introducing the horse-trading culture in the politics.”

It was the time when the politics of ‘Changa Manga’ was introduced with the then rivals, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif buying the loyalties of parliamentarians through large sums of money.

The two adversaries had today joined hands and again brought the horse-trading back to oust a democratically elected prime minister in order to save themselves from the corruption cases, he added.

They were trying to make bids to buy the loyalties of MNAs, who would be shifted to Chnaga Manga, he said. However, their foul play would not work now as the legislators were not ready to sell their conscious, he added.

Fawad said Fazlur Rehman had also joined their bandwagon as his politics also revolved around his own vested interests. Fazl, he alleged, used to get funds from foreign powers, besides getting diesel permits from the then prime minister in 1993.

He accused the opposition leaders of offering bribe to some PTI MNAs for winning their support. “Three of our MNAs, including two females, have told the PM about the offers from the opposition. One of the members was offered Rs 10 crores (Rs 100 million) on Tuesday.”

The opposition’s such tactics were highly condemnable and the only hurdle in the way of such “political dealers” was PM Imran Khan who was committed to recover looted public money from them, he added.
Ruling out dialogue with the opposition on any issue, he said: “We have tried our best to sit with them on electoral and other reforms, but they did not cooperate with us.”

Fawad said that the PTI had already proved its majority in the Senate and defeated the joint opposition in the Parliament multiple times by getting passed the bills of national importance.

“Imran Khan is the second prime minister of Pakistan who has voluntarily taken a vote of confidence from the National Assembly,” he remarked.

The minister also mocked PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for his so-called march and his slip of tongue during the rally. Bilawal had said “Islamabad may kaampein taang rahi hain.”

Highlighting the lukewarm response received by the PPP from Punjab, he said it had a weak vote bank in the province where nobody was ready to get their ticket for the next general election scheduled in 2023.

The minister also lambasted the PPP chairman for ruthlessly using the resources of Sindh government to make the so-called march successful.