Opposition gathers support of Imran ally ahead of trust vote

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MQM-P is the largest ally of the ruling PTI coalition with seven members in the National Assembly….reports Asian Lite News

Ahead of the National Assembly session on no-confidence motion against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, Bilawal Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Thursday announced that matters had been settled with key government ally, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and that the ruling coalition member will vote in favour of the motion to oust Imran Khan, local media reported.

MQM-P is the largest ally of the ruling PTI coalition with seven members in the National Assembly.

“Talks have been held with the MQM today (Thursday) and matters have been settled. It is also possible that some ministers will also be with the opposition,” PPP secretary general Farhatullah Babar told reporters outside Zardari House after the party’s parliamentary party meeting, The Dawn reported.

MQM-P had demanded “share in jobs” as well as the opening of their party offices in Karachi and Hyderabad, the report said, citing sources, adding that the two sides had also agreed to form a committee to jointly suggest changes to the Sindh local government law.

Talking to a TV channel, MQM leader Waseem Akhtar said their demands and issues were related to the Sindh province and it was good that both Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had agreed to most of them. He said they also had had a good meeting with the government’s teams on Wednesday.

In a rapidly developing situation ahead of the crucial National Assembly session today, Opposition leaders also began speculations on the post-Imran Khan scenario.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reached the official residence of Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif where they were also joined by Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

Later, in an interview, Rehman said that the joint opposition had yet to decide on several matters ahead of the no-confidence motion.

Asked about speculations that Shehbaz Sharif had been picked as the opposition’s choice for the premiership after Imran Khan’s ouster, Rehman said: “We will decide on all matters after the success of the no-trust move.”

The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark being 172. The PTI led coalition was formed with the support of 179 members, with Imran Khan’s PTI having 155 members, and four major allies MQM-P, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) having seven, five, five and three members respectively.

Imran Khan’s situation is precarious given that three of the four allies, that is, MQM-P, PML-Q and BAP have stated their support for the Opposition’s no-confidence motion and said that they will vote accordingly. (ANI)

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