‘Lawmakers coerced into pledging allegiance to selected PM’ | The Express Tribune

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz has claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan obtained his vote of confidence from members of National Assembly through coercion and with the support of agencies and state institutions.

On Saturday, the lower house of parliament reaffirmed its confidence in PM Imran by overwhelmingly voting in his favour as the premier polled 178 votes – six more than the magical number of 172. However, the PDM boycotted the NA session which was specifically convened by President Arif Alvi for the PM’s trust vote.

The prime minister had voluntarily decided to seek a fresh vote of confidence after the shock defeat of PTI candidate Hafeez Shaikh at the hands of PDM’s Yousaf Raza Gilani in the March 3 Senate elections which the opposition said was a vote of no-confidence against Imran Khan.

“The whole area of parliament lodges was turned into a bunker yesterday. Drone cameras were used to monitor all MNAs,” she said while addressing a news conference flanked by the party leaders in Lahore on Sunday.

Two of their MNAs who were not willing to support Imran Khan in the vote of confidence were frisked away and locked up in containers for four hours to pressure them into pledging their allegiance to the ‘selected prime minister’, the PML-N stalwart asserted.

Also read: PDM to decide on timing of no-confidence move against PM: Bilawal

She claimed the premier has once again dragged the state institutions and agencies into political matters and used their support to pressure his own lawmakers for yesterday’s vote of confidence. “These agencies are also answerable to the people of this country and must tell why they supported the enemy of the people.”

Maryam said that PM Imran must know that his time is up.

 

The puppet government, she said, could not remain at the helm without the support of agencies. “They (government) cannot understand anything other than what agencies tell them,” she added.

The implications of support in yesterday’s vote of confidence will be far-reaching, she said.

“The puppet of agencies [PM Imran] couldn’t even win despite being alone in the race,” she quipped.

The PML-N leader further said that people speak up and raise their voice when cruelty reaches its limits, just like judge Arshad Malik.

The press conference took place following an important PML-N meeting, which was also addressed by the party supremo, Nawaz Sharif via video link from London.

Hamza Shahbaz and Rana Sanaullah, she said, also joined the meeting via video-link following their meeting with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

 

Upcoming by-election in Karachi’s NA 249 constituency also came under discussion at the meeting. The seat has fallen vacant following PTI leader Faisal Vawda’s resignation from the National Assembly and election as a senator.

Maryam informed that Miftah Ismail is likely to be awarded the party ticket for the by-poll. However, a formal announcement of his nomination will be made from the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) platform tomorrow, she added.

“PML N is not a horse of a short race. It is made for long races,” she remarked and expressed hope that the party will clean sweep the next election from Punjab.

The meeting, Maryam said, strongly condemned the alleged manhandling of the party leaders at the hands of supporters of the ruling party in Islamabad’s red zone yesterday. Everyone condemned the abuse of Marriyum Aurangzeb and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, she said.

In their placards, they clearly abused the chairman of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). We did not criticise anyone outside the limits of decency, said the PML-N leader.

Upcoming elections for Senate chairman and by-polls in Sialkot’s Daska constituency were also discussed at the meeting, she said.



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