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Pakistan PM Imran Khan Offers ‘Deal’ To Opposition To Dissolve Assembly If No Confidence Motion Withdrawn: Report

With the Opposition’s number game getting stronger, Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered a deal to dissolve the National Assembly if the no-confidence motion against his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government is withdrawn.

Published: March 31, 2022 5:29 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Sanstuti Nath

Pakistan, Imran Khan, US
Imran Khan reiterated that a "foreign conspiracy" was plotted in Washington with the help of the Opposition parties to overthrow the PTI government in Pakistan. (File Photo)

Islamabad: With the Opposition’s number game getting stronger, Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered a deal to dissolve the National Assembly if the no-confidence motion against his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government is withdrawn, local media reported on Thursday. Citing sources, Geo News reported an “important personality” has forwarded PM Imran Khan’s message to the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.

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According to the report, the information was revealed during the meeting of the Opposition leaders today ahead of the crucial National Assembly session for the debate on the no-confidence motion. During the debate, it was shared that Pakistan’s Prime Minister has asked for a “safe passage” amid a deepening political crisis.

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Geo News sources further added that PM Imran Khan has said that if the Opposition doesn’t agree to his suggestion, he is ready to face any situation. The joint Opposition reviewed the suggestion and message of the “important person” during their meeting today.

The majority of the Opposition leaders have, however, reportedly recommended not to trust PM Imran Khan and suggested asking the National Assembly speaker for holding the voting on the motion at the earliest. “We have the numbers. We will get benefit if the process is completed on the motion as soon as possible,” said sources.

Why Opposition moved no-confidence motion against Imran Khan govt

Backed by a coalition of politicians who blame Imran Khan for economic incompetence and bad governance, the no-confidence motion against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government is was tabled on March 28. In the past few months, prices of essential commodities including fuel and food have skyrocketed in Pakistan, with inflation reaching 13% in January 2022.

The Opposition is confident of having the required numbers to remove PM Imran Khan. The Opposition claims it has the support of more than 25 lawmakers of Khan’s PTI and its allies. Pakistani media also reported that Khan has some serious differences with Pakistan’s military, whose support is critical for any party to secure power in the country.

Several Coalition MPs threaten to withdraw support from Imran Khan’s Govt

Several lawmakers have withdrawn their support from Khan’s government, stoking uncertainty over whether the former cricketer can hold on to power, following warnings from his coalition partners that they could join the Opposition.

What is the required number for the motion to pass

According to a report by news agency Reuters, the loss of dissident lawmakers has left Khan with over a dozen seats less than the minimum of 172 needed for a majority.

The Opposition jointly commands 163 seats in the lower house but could build a majority if most of the defectors effectively join its ranks via the no-confidence vote. Khan has appealed to the dissidents to return to the party, promising forgiveness.

Over a dozen PTI dissident Members of the National Assembly reportedly have already come into the open with their criticism of the government policies, indicating that they might support the opposition’s no-trust motion even at the cost of being disqualified as National Assembly members.

However, the PML-Q, the Balochistan Awami Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, the three major allies of Imran Khan’s PTI collectively have 17 lawmakers, are reportedly yet to decide which side they are on and are still negotiating with both the government and opposition parties.

Furthermore, some of the lawmakers have denied defection after they were issued show-cause notices by the party, making their alliance unclear.

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