The opposition parties in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday submitted a notice for a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, apparently to preempt the dissolution of the provincial assembly.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is the single largest party in the 145-member house with 94 members, while 51 legislators sit on the opposition benches.
The no-confidence notice was submitted by a group of opposition lawmakers to the assembly’s secretary Kifayatullah Afridi at his office.
The provincial assembly is already in session and the speaker has adjourned the sitting to May 10. The ongoing session has been summoned by the government.
The motion submitted to the assembly secretariat states: “We beg to move that leave may be granted under sub-rule (1) of rule 18D of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Procedure and Conduct of Business Rules to move a resolution of no-confidence against the Chief Minister under Article 136 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.
The proposed resolution submitted by the opposition members read: “Whereas Mr Mahmood Khan has ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the members of this assembly as the chief minister, it is hereby resolved that Mr Mahmoood Khan shall stand ceased to hold the said office.”
Those who submitted the notice include Sardar Hussain Babak, Khushdil Khan and Shagufta Malik of the Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan People’s Party MPA Nighat Orakzai, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) MPA Mian Nisar Gul and Baluchistan Awami Party’s Bilawal Afridi.
The notice carried the signatures of 36 lawmakers of the joint opposition, including 17 of the MMA, 12 of the ANP, six of the PPP and one of Jamaat-i-Islami.
Before submitting the notice, the opposition parties held a meeting at the chamber of the opposition leader during which strategy for the no-confidence motion was discussed. Opposition leader Akran Khan Durani couldn’t attend the meeting because of his engagements in Islamabad.
After the meeting, ANP’s parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak also handed over a letter to the assembly’s secretary, reminding the latter that supremacy of the Constitution and implementation of the law of land were the responsibility of every citizen.
“We believe that the proceedings of the KP Assembly will be run under the Constitution, law and rules of business,” the letter stated, adding that some unconstitutional and unlawful steps in the National Assembly as well as in Punjab Assembly had created political crisis.
PTI’s chief whip in the KP Assembly Shaukat Yousafzai, in a video message released to the media, termed the opposition’s move of no-confidence a joke.
“How 51 members of the opposition will defeat the ruling party having support of 94 members,” he wondered. The PTI would not allow horse-trading as it was a strong force in the province, he declared.
He dispelled the impression that submission of the notice was handiwork of the treasury and opposition to save the assembly from dissolution. “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the strong castle of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” said Mr Yousafzai, who is also minister for labour department.