Prime Minister Imran Khan, while reiterating that opposition
parties were more than welcome to test the water with their no-confidence
motion against his government, on Monday directed Sindh Governor Imran Ismail
and Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak to bring disgruntled members back into the
party’s fold.

Sources said that the prime minister, who chaired the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s
(PTI) core committee meeting, assured the party that there was nothing to be
worried about as “there is no threat to the democratic government”.

Surprisingly, the no-confidence motion has put everything on the
back burner, including the weekly federal cabinet meeting. Noticeably, the
premier has lately been so busy in turning the tables on the opposition that he
has once again postponed the federal cabinet’s meeting – making it the third
consecutive Tuesday without having to hear what the cabinet has to collectively
say in these testing times.

While dispelling the impression that the opposition parties were
on the verge of making their no-trust move successful, the premier repeated in
the core committee meeting that he has confidence in the party’s lawmakers. The
‘homework’ was complete to defeat the opposition parties’ move and the “agenda
of thieves [opposition parties] would be made unsuccessful”.

Read PTI swings into action to foil opposition’s no-trust

Chiding the opposition parties in the meeting, sources said, the
premier was of the view that those running away from their cases would not be
able to bring “revolution” and added that they, however, were free to table the
no-confidence motion against him.

The statement comes on the heels of his warning to the opposition
to fear his wrath when their move against his government fails.

The directions to the Sindh governor and the defence minister for
contacting disgruntled members have come after it emerged that PML-N has made a
contact with PTI leader Aleem Khan who was scheduled to visit estranged PTI
leader Jahangir Khan Tareen’s residence ahead of the opposition parties’
no-confidence motion against PM Imran.

The souring of ties between the PTI leadership and the disgruntled
members have reached the point where it has been said that Aleem Khan has been
busy meeting over two dozen members for the past few weeks and would be
discussing options and strategies regarding Punjab and the Centre in the
meeting with the Tareen group tonight.

The government has been walking a tightrope for the past several
weeks and with mounting pressure from the opposition parties, PM Imran was
recently forced to significantly slash petrol,
diesel, and electricity prices.

In addition, the promise of making South Punjab a separate
province has resurfaced and the premier has announced to soon submit a
constitutional amendment in the National Assembly.

The failure of his ex-accountability czar to conclude or even
bring corruption cases against the opposition leadership to conclusion has
severely jolted the ruling party’s mantra of accountability and recovery of
“looted money” from ex-rulers standing trial in corruption cases.

Meeting after meeting are taking place for the past few weeks in
both government and opposition camps to envisage defeating the other side.

The flurry of activity in both camps has increased the political
temperature in the power corridors, which has further increased by PPP’s long
march which is about to enter the federal capital.

Meanwhile, PPP’s leader Khursheed Shah, who had recently hinted
that the no-trust motion would be submitted in the assembly when the PPP long
march enters Islamabad, met JUI-F and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief
Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday to discuss modalities of the motion.

Just like the government, the statement issued after the Shah-Fazl
meeting stated that “homework is complete [and] the motion would soon be
presented”. The statement also demanded PM Imran to resign and “have mercy on
the nation and the country”.


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