Govt confirms contact with Opposition MNAs, rules out blackmail amid no-confidence motion

Federal Ministers Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar and Hammad Azhar addressing a press conference. — Screengrab

                                      Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Thursday confirmed that the PTI-government is in contact with the members of the Opposition, however, he denied sharing names of those members.

Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, flanked by federal ministers Hammad Azhar and Fawad Chaudhry, Umar said that the PTI leaders would not use tactics used by the Opposition for convincing their members to support Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the no-confidence motion.

Reacting to the Sindh House controversy, Umar said Imran Khan will continue to stand by his principles as he is a public leader and his politics is for the sake of the nation and not for himself.

“PM Khan neither blackmails anyone nor does he get blackmailed like other political leaders,” he said, adding that all actions and decisions of PTI will be taken according to the Constitution of Pakistan.

He reiterated that ahead of the no-confidence motion, Imran Khan stands against horse-trading by the Opposition.

Umar highlighted that the only difference between PTI and the Opposition is that they are using the name of democracy for their “illegitimate practices, including blackmailing, horse-trading, among others.”

Govt will remain in touch with the Opposition members, alliance parties: Hammad Azhar

Speaking on the occasion, Hammad Azhar said that the current system is based on “corruption and auction”, adding that if the government wishes, it can “buy” half the votes of the Opposition. However, it will not resort to such unethical tactics.

He endorsed Umar’s views and said that the government will remain in touch with the Opposition members along with the alliance parties.

Addressing the controversy regarding statements of the disgruntled PTI member, he said that “it is not their voice, but money is speaking.”

“Even supporters of the disgruntled MNAs have risen against them,” he claimed, adding that PM Imran Khan will thwart the no-confidence motion.

Adding further to the press briefing, Fawad said that the government has urged the PTI supporters of constituencies concerned to “remain calm,” however, they can continue to protest as it is their right.

‘If you have sense of shame left, resign from party’s post’

He called MNA Raja Riaz, who is a part of Jahangir Tareen group, a “shameless man” for saying that the disgruntled members have parted ways with Imran Khan due to their “conscience”.

“If you have some sense of shame in you, then resign from the party’s post and contest the elections on your own,” he said, adding that “legal action has been taken against these members.”

He told the press that the government will not use illegitimate means like “blackmailing and turn coating” to protect the government.

“This is the business model of Zardari: invest, come in government, and make money,” he said.

Addressing rumours that MNAs have resigned from the PTI, Umar said that “only Ramesh Kumar is aware of such news, and no one else.”

Earlier in the day, Kumar — after announcing that he’s quitting the PTI — had claimed that three federal ministers have also parted ways with the ruling party. He, however, did not name them.

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