Prime Minister Imran Khan secured the vote of confidence from the National Assembly today as 178 members of the house voted in his favor. Imran Khan had voluntarily called for a vote of confidence after ruling alliance’s candidate Dr Hafeez Shaikh lost in the Senate election from Islamabad. Opposition parties had boycotted the proceeding of the vote of confidence.
Announcing the result, Speaker Asad Qaiser said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was elected in 2018 with 176 votes, and now he has won the vote of confidence with 178 votes.
Speaking at the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to his supporters and allies, adding that they had stood by him through all difficult times.
“To our parliamentarians and our team, I’d like to thank you by saying that all of you were deeply concerned that Hafeez Shiekh had lost his seat in the Senate; I saw a team in all of you, which I really appreciated,” he added.
“Allah says I will test your faith, again and again. He does it to make us strong. Whenever we go through a difficult time, we come out stronger,” the Prime Minister said. “Today I’d like to congratulate my party that they have seen this difficult time through. I also know about many parliamentarians who made great efforts to reach the capital today, some of whom were ill—I’d like to thank them as well.”
In his speech, the Prime Minister also spoke of wanting to emulate a Riyasat-e-Madinah, and said he had recommended the Education Minister to make the teachings of the Holy Prophet mandatory in schools.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also said that electronic voting machines will be introduced so that nobody could raise fingers against the credibility of the elections, Radio Pakistan reported. He added that the government is making effort towards Overseas Pakistanis also getting their right to franchise.
Expressing apprehension over the malpractices in the recently held Senate elections, the Prime Minister asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to get a briefing from the agencies as to how much money was used to purchase votes, according to Radio Pakistan. He clarified that his concerns on the Senate elections were not aimed at doing away with the independence of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Prior to the Prime Minister’s speech, PTI MNA Aamir Liaquat Hussain has recited a Naat in the National Assembly.
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also congratulated the Prime Minister on his victory, and assured him that said the allied parties stand with him. In his speech, he also expressed hope that Imran Khan will bring his vision for Pakistan into realisation, and give back to the country. He said that the country and the Assembly has placed its hope in the Prime Minister, and they wish to see him deliver on his promises.
Dr Fahmida Mirza, Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, also extended her felicitations to the Prime Minister, and acknowledged the economic and political challenges facing the government. She especially commended the Prime Minister on his management of the COVID-19 crisis.
In her speech, Dr Fahmida Mirza addressed the Speaker of the National Assembly and said that she, as the Speaker in 2008, had worked to set a tone in the Parliament that reflected respect for the institution, as well as those who hold important positions, including the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, party leadership, and the Speaker. She lamented that the Parliament is not the same one she envisioned, and urged the Speaker to defend its dignity and decorum. She also urged the Prime Minister to visit and give attention to underdeveloped cities in all provinces, including Balochistan and Sindh, for their people have expectations from the premier. Additionally, she stressed the need for electoral, judicial, and Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) reforms.
Sheikh Rashid, Federal Minister of Interior, conveyed hearty congratulations to Prime Minister Imran Khan and lauded him on winning the confidence of the National Assembly. He said that he had worked with other leaders, but none had the desire to make Pakistan better like Imran Khan. He appreciated the work of the Prime Minister for the country and urged him to keep delivering on his promises to Pakistan.
Before the vote, tensions ran high outside Parliament House as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supporters and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz – Nawaz (PML-N) leaders had gathered outside the building to stage their protests. Sloganeering and scuffles broke out, with PML-N leaders claiming PTI supporters had manhandled them.
Of the 342 seats of the National Assembly, the government coalition holds 178 seats; with the PTI occupying 157, along with coalition partners MQM with 7 seats, PML-Q and BAP with 5 each, the Grand Democratic Alliance from Sindh having 3 seats, and Sheikh Rashid as the singular MNA from his Awami Muslim League. The government is supported by 3 more non-aligned MNAs (one from Jhamhoori Watan Party and 2 Independents), who do not occupy the treasury benches but have extended their support to the incumbent government.
On the converse, the Pakistan Democratic Movement holds 160 seats in the lower house, with PML-N lawmakers numbered 83, PPP having 55 MNAs, Fazl-ur Rehman leading MMA with the strength of 15, 4 seats of Sardar Mengal’s BNP, 1 from ANP and 2 Independents.
The opposition refrained from parcipating in the vote of confidence today, resulting in a lanslide victory for Prime Minister Imran Khan.