Following the defeat of finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh against former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that he will be seeking a vote of confidence in the National Assembly on Saturday. He also stated that he was prepared to sit in the opposition in the event of a defeat but wouldn’t abandon his campaign against corruption.
However, Mr Khan is looking forward to meeting lawmakers from Mutahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) to discuss the vote of confidence. The defeat of the finance minister in the elections to the upper house gave rise to the calls for the resignation of Mr Khan by the Opposition leaders.
Mr Khan hit them back by announcing to seek a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on Saturday. Shaikh was defeated by a margin of 5 votes.
In a televised address to the nation ahead of the vote of confidence in the National Assembly Khan said that a loss of power wouldn’t make a vast difference to his efforts to rid the country of corruption, which he claimed was a key factor in the Senate elections.
“These people thought they could hang the sword of no-confidence over me, and because the chair is very important to me, I’d…end all corruption cases against them,” Khan stated, speaking in Urdu.
Khan called on lawmakers not to be influenced while accusing Gilani and the opposition of offering bribes and inducements to swing the Senate elections. “If I lose power, what difference does it make to me?” he asked.
As per the sources, it is believed that he will come out unscratched from the current political challenge but his problems will not end as the 11-party opposition alliance, PDM, already declared a march on Islamabad on March 26 to topple his government.
After the downfall in the Senate elections, the opposition parties have retained a majority in the upper house of Parliament and they are now looking to bag the posts of chairman and deputy chairman, for which secret balloting will be held on March 12. The opposition party now has 53 seats in the 100-member Senate, while Khan’s ruling alliance has 47 seats.