More PTI MNAs defect, Ministers Reject Governor’s rule in Sindh

Three more MNAs have publicly announced to go against the party while the ruling PTI has rejected minus-Imran formula.

                          At least three more PTI MNAs have announced that they no longer support Imran Khan while federal ministers, taking a U-turn, have rejected the governor’s rule in Sindh.

Sources told Geo News on Friday Prime Minister Imran Khan had ruled out governor’s rule in Sindh but decided to move the Supreme Court against disgruntled members of the ruling PTI. Chairing the PTI’s political committee meeting, the prime minister vowed to battle against the opposition and was confident of the failure of no-confidence motion against him. Fawad Chaudhary later said that the government will move the SC against the dissident MNAs on Monday on account of horse trading.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday categorically rejected the impression of governor’s rule in Sindh and said that there was no such intention and added the of governor’s rule in Sindh and said that there was no such intention and added the no-confidence motion would be fought within the constitutional framework. Qureshi also politely urged the ‘disgruntled’ members of PTI to reconsider their decision and reminded them that they were elected on the election symbol ‘bat’ and hence workers had expectations from them. He maintained this while speaking here along with senior leaders of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and federal ministers Asad Umar and Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, following a meeting of the party’s political committee, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan at Bani Gala, who is also the Chairman of the party.

Qureshi explained that the latest political situation in the country was discussed in the meeting and the senior leadership spoke on the no-confidence motion and PTI has decided to fight the no-confidence motion. He remarked, “We will defeat it in a democratic way, politically and within the framework of the Constitution, which is being talked about. We will not let anyone go.”

The minister said that it was just propaganda and it was the negation of a solid political thinking and we have no such intention to impose the governor’s rule in Sindh. He added, “I want to bury this ambiguity forever and this is a unanimous decision of the party.” He pointed out that there was news in newspapers on the implementation of the governor’s rule in Sindh and Bilawal Bhutto had also held a press conference but there was no such intention. He said that this issue was also discussed in the meeting and everyone’s opinion was that it was not necessary because the past experiences were before us and we also reviewed them. Qureshi emphasised that Saeed Ghani or Bilawal Bhutto should not be unduly upset. “There is speculation about the allies that they have left and will leave, I am constantly saying that the allies will not leave us. I have worked with Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, he has a political family. He is not emotional but he makes political decisions. In what logic he needs to be explained that how much space is there in PML-N for him,” he noted.

Referring to the PML-Q, he said that in the 2018 elections, the thorns in their path were thrown by the PML-N not the PTI and added “we had helped another and are also together now.”

He said that “according to my political opinion, Chaudhry Pervaz Elahi would never trust PML-N. “It was said that he was being offered the post of chief minister in Punjab. They will be in the minority, whenever they want to pull the rug under their feet, then what will be the confidence of this chief minister and team.” He said that if the majority in the cabinet was of PMLN ministers then how could the chief minister work effectively. He continued that it is being said that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)-Pakistan will also leave PTI, so it is also irrational because in Karachi they are the negation of PPP and they are not oblivious to what this party has done there.

Qureshi said that PTI members of assembly were at different places and some of them were also sitting in the Sindh House. “They are sensible and political people, they will surely know what the law says, what are the requirements of the Constitution and what is their mandate. If they have been elected on the sign of bat, then the workers would have set their expectations.”

He told the angry members of PTI that if they reconsider with a cold heart, their grievances would be settled at home and removed within the party. He remarked, “You can’t fix your future by sitting with an opponent. Even today, I will tell my esteemed members and brothers to reconsider. There is no pressure on you and we can’t put pressure on each other. We can only request and reconcile with each other.”

Qureshi said that they were ready to listen to their every legitimate opinion but “if our friends take any decision apart from their party in the no-confidence motion, then it would be a big political mistake.”

He added, “As a friend and benefactor, I urge you to reconsider your decision. I will not even mention horse trading and looted sacks because I have confidence in your reputation. I can only tell you to be cool, consider, speak and decide.”

He contended keeping in view the law, the Constitution and ethics, the Political Committee has decided that if any member deviates in spite of this appeal, a causal notice will be issued and a presidential reference will be sent against him. “We would like to compete with them in a political and legal manner keeping in view the parliamentary etiquette. Another thing is circulating in the market that only Imran Khan is not fine i.e. everything can be saved if it becomes minus one. I want to say openly that there is no room for minus one in PTI; remove this ambiguity if anyone has it in mind,” he asserted. Qureshi said that Imran Khan is the founding chairman of PTI and “if this is the man who planted the tree, then he would be more concerned about the plant than I.”

Speaking on the occasion, PTI Secretary General and Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that pressure was visible and people’s relatives were calling to tell them (disgruntled members) not to do so. He said that there was no instruction from the party to intimidate anyone; it is not our politics but moral pressure is being felt, more than one person has also contacted and sent messages.

Asad Umar added that work on show cause notices was going on and after leaving here, he will also sign show cause notices. After which, they will be issued and whoever wants to reconsider the decision will come back.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the problem was very simple, all the people in Sindh House have been imprisoned and police have been called from there. We think that they should have the power to make independent decisions and they should be released. He said that whether we can vote under Article 63A of the Constitution or not, we have asked the Supreme Court. If there is a presidential reference, then the Supreme Court will decide and we will proceed accordingly. He added that the reference would be filed on Monday and the show cause notices would go to the Speaker. The minister contended that giving the date for the assembly session was the prerogative of the NA speaker, who would also take action against the disgruntled members.

Fawad said that Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid has legitimately informed the Federation about the unconstitutional measures of the Sindh government and there was an option of governor’s rule in Sindh. “But we have said we are not implementing it at present.” Referring to the governor’s rule in Sindh, he said that if the situation remained like this, then we will see.

In another development, PTI MNA Amir Talal Gopang, who was elected from NA-186 Alipur constituency, Muzaffargarh, Punjab, has said that no development work was done in his constituency during Imran’s tenure. “I will decide on the no-confidence motion according to the people and my conscience,” he said in a video message. Gopang said that he had not taken a single rupee from anyone for voting on the no-confidence motion. “They are making accusations, Allah will surely ask them. Three and a half years ago today, I joined the PTI thinking that I would serve my people, solve the problems of the people of the constituency but it is sad to say that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team has not done any work during the last three and a half years, I could not do any work for my constituency during this government,” he noted. He continued, “When I see the people of my constituency being crushed under inflation, when I see a labourer who earns Rs500 by working all day and buys a kg of ghee from this for Rs500, Rs150 to buy a kilo of sugar, when I see a farmer in my constituency getting only two sacks of fertilizer after standing in line for three days, tell me what I should decide”. The PTI lawmaker said that the people of his constituency are worried. Gopang said that he would definitely go to the National Assembly on the day of the no-confidence motion and vote on the no-confidence motion by deciding according to the opinion of his people and his conscience.

PTI leader Najib Haroon has said he sought prime minister’s resignation in the larger interests of the country.

A founding member of the PTI Najeeb Haroon while talking to Naya Pakistan hosted by Shehzad Iqbal in Geo News on Friday said the country can no longer sustain instability and the Prime Minister Imran Khan must shed his stubbornness and somebody else from within the party be brought forward as the prime ministerial candidate. The MNA said Imran must have the confidence of the party leaders and workers and allies and address their issues.

On the other hand, PTI MNA Afzal Dhandla from Bhakkar said in a video message that he has not received any offer of money from anywhere. The lawmaker said that he has a longstanding relationship with PMLN which cannot be denied and every Pakistani is worried about the internal, political and economic situation of the country at present.

Dhandla went on to say that he will decide on voting for no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan after consulting with the voters of his constituency. “I will use my vote in accordance with my conscience and not under any greed or pressure,” he added.

Meanwhile, annoyed PTI legislator from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Noor Alam Khan, has received life threats from unidentified persons who threatened him that he and his three sons will face the same consequences which Benazir Bhutto and Bashir Bilour faced. On Friday, Noor tweeted: “I have saved the numbers from which the threats were hurled. The present leadership is responsible for it.” He also shared the screenshot of the threatening message which he received on WhatsApp

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