Amid boycott by the opposition parties Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday won a vote of confidence that he called for himself, after his ruling coalition suffered a serious political setback that galvanized the opposition.
The Prime Minister was able to secure 178 ballots during the vote in the National Assembly, and 172 were required to win the resolution. The Prime Minister had asked for the parliament’s confidence following a major political setback in which Finance Minister Abdul Hafiz Sheikh lost his bid for a Senate seat earlier this week.
Talking the forum, the Prime Minister thanked all allied parties of the government for their support. “I would like to thank the parliamentarians and my allies,” he said, adding that the government’s team will keep going strength from strength.
“I would also like to congratulate my party who came out of this trying time. Once you clear an obstacle in life, one only emerges stronger,” said the Prime Minister. Reiterating that the people should not forget why the country was formed, Imran said Pakistan was formed as a result of great vision.
Says e-voting to be introduced to ensure fair elections: All-out efforts underway to lessen burden on masses
Continuing his criticism of the recently held Senate elections, the Premier said the government knew for a month that “money was being collected for buying and selling” of lawmakers. “I am ashamed before my people over the Senate elections, there was an open market to buy votes.”
He added that he was also ashamed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is of the opinion that the elections conducted were satisfactory. “If this was a good election, what will a bad election look like?”
Firing a broadside at PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif and PPP’s Asif Zardari for the “billions they stole and added to our loans,” the Premier said the “thieves” [Nawaz and Zardari] were blackmailing the incumbent government for an NRO.
“Pakistan was added to FATF’s grey list during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure,” said the Prime Minister and added that the opposition parties tried to blackmail the government to have their demands met on the NAB ordinance and connected the issue to lawmaking needed for FATF.
“I ask the ECP to take a secret briefing from the intelligence apparatus, they will tell you how much money was involved in the Senate elections. Just compare the assets of Yousuf Raza Gilani before he was a prime minister and after.” He added, “My struggle during the ‘decade of darkness’ is real.”
The Premier then elaborated that the government has done its best to steer the country out of economic hardships and at the same time successfully deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have had a current account surplus for five months,” added PM Imran.
“In future, our challenge is to increase our exports. Our biggest problem is of power generation as the contracts signed earlier were at higher rates. I just want to tell the nation that we are thinking of every possible way to lessen the burden on the masses.”
Imran also added that the government has taken other measures to better the country’s economy, including the construction of two dams and a business district in Lahore. “No one can stop Pakistan from progressing.”
He further said that electronic voting machines will now be introduced in the country’s electoral process to ensure free and fair elections.
The opposition members boycotted the vote of no confidence, claiming that the Senate seat loss was itself enough to show that Khan no longer has support in parliament. The Senate election, carried out by the lower house of parliament and four provincial assemblies, was expected to be an easy victory for Khan’s ruling coalition, which enjoyed numerical superiority.
The vote led to speculation that members of the coalition were losing confidence in the government. The election loss also led to calls from the opposition for Khan to step down. The political feud was exacerbated by allegations from Khan that the opposition had tampered with the Senate election vote.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org