Prime Minister Imran Khan has intensified his efforts to fight the no-confidence motion of the opposition politically, and declared on Thursday that his government was firm on the political front.
He met with Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in Lahore on Thursday, where he arrived on a daylong tour to steady relations between the chief minister and the PTI legislators in the province demanding his removal.
A group of some two dozen MPs, led by disgruntled PTI leader Jahangir Tareen, who earlier this week welcomed another estranged party MP Aleem Khan to the fold, ramped up pressure on the premier, demanding Buzdar’s removal and discussing a possible no-confidence motion in the house to oust him.
However, the prime minister, in his meeting with Buzdar and Sarwar, said the most important political matters would take place in Islamabad, given the fact that the National Assembly is situated there.
“A detailed discussion on Punjab’s political situation will be held after due diligence,” he said during the meeting.
He also reiterated that all those creating fuss would be taken to task after failure of the no-trust move in the assembly.
The meeting also discussed the latest political situation and administrative matters among other matters.
PM Imran said that a decision regarding Punjab’s political situation would be made after a detailed consultation.
He said he would hold a historic public rally at D-Chowk in Islamabad a day before the vote on no-trust motion in the National Assembly.
Members of the federal cabinet Asad Umar, Shafqat Mahmood, Hammad Azhar, Khusro Bakhtiar and Shah Mehmood Qureshi also accompanied the prime minister in Lahore.
The prime minister also held meetings with parliamentarians to seek an assurance for defeating the opposition move.
TAREEN GROUP: In another important development, at least four senior members of the Tareen group violated their leadership’s decision and attended the PTI’s parliamentary party meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran in Lahore.
Those who attended the meeting included Punjab ministers Asif Nakai, Akhtar Malik, Samsam Bukhari and Hashim Dogar. Also, Chief Minister Buzdar held meetings with provincial ministers and possible dissidents to ensure they would stay loyal to the party in the current political environment.
Disgruntled PTI MPA Khurram Leghari, who was among those who met Aleem on Monday, took a U-turn and claimed the minus-Buzdar demand was an individual stance (of provincial minister Langrial) and not a decision of the entire Tareen group.
“We cannot leave Usman Buzdar alone in the current political scenario,” he said.
On the other hand, Tareen group announced its disassociation with the provincial ministers who met Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A spokesperson for Tareen group, Saeed Akbar Nawani, told the media that Asif Nikai and Akhtar Malik were never part of the group.
“We know that there are difficulties when a stand is taken against any government. Transport and pumps of our brother Ajmal Cheema have been closed since yesterday,” he added.
“We are in the PTI but joined Jahangir Tareen on the basis of our differences. We believe that the man we used to blame for destroying party was later removed by the prime minister. Hence, the decision of the prime minister proved that our position was right,” he added without mentioning the name of Shehzad Akbar.
“Once proved that our position was right, our position should be accepted or we should be proved wrong by argument,” Nawani said.
Spokesman of Tareen group said that consultations were underway and the situation was being reviewed on a daily basis.
“We stand by our position and we have no regrets. No one should ever refuse for a dialogue. None of our group has been nominated for the post of chief minister yet. We did not have any consultation in this regard yet,” he added.
Responding to a question about differences with Aleem Khan, Nawani said that he had a lot of respect for him and he was part of Tareen group.
“Pervez Elahi is our speaker and our friends met him at his request. There is no word of no return in politics,” he added.