Pak opposition to boycott National Assembly session on Imran Khan's vote of confidence

ANI
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Pakistan Democratic Movement's chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Pakistan Democratic Movement's chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 5 (ANI): Deepening the political crisis in Pakistan, the opposition on Friday said it will not attend the National Assembly session scheduled for Saturday, in which Prime Minister Imran Khan will seek a vote of confidence.

Addressing reporters a day ahead of the session, Pakistan Democratic Movement's chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Friday said former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's victory in the senate election was itself a no-confidence motion against the premier, Dawn reported.

"Tomorrow a session has been called in which no member of the opposition will take part," Rehman said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad. He added that the opposition will appoint a person to keep a lookout during the session for the "drama they are doing there".

Rehman claimed that President Arif Alvi in his summary to summon Saturday's session had essentially stated that PM Imran Khan had "lost the trust of the majority" and he, therefore, needed to seek a vote of confidence.

"So when the president talks about losing trust to call the session of the National Assembly, then this further strengthens the stance of the opposition," he said.

After the embarrassing defeat in the hotly-contested Senate elections, the Pakistan government has called a session in the national session during which Khan will seek a vote of confidence.

In a close vote, former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani of the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) defeated Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who currently serves as the country's finance minister, by 169 to 164 votes.

The result came as a blow to Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as his party and its allies control the National Assembly, and the implication is that some members or allies may have defected when they voted by secret ballot.

After the opposition's boycott, Rehman said, "this session will have no political importance" and the PTI government "will not be considered the representative government of this nation".

Commenting on yesterday's address to the nation by Imran Khan, the JUI-F chief said the tone in which Prime Minister Imran addressed the nation last night "reflected his defeat". (ANI)