Analysis: Will Prime Minister Imran Khan take a vote of confidence?

As economic recession and internal rifts among the ruling coalition have become evident, opposition challenges Prime Minister Imran Khan to take a vote of confidence from the parliament. Will Khan go for it?

Prime Minister Imran Khan take a vote of confidence

Opposition parties on Tuesday protested against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and challenged Prime Minister Imran Khan to take a vote of confidence from the parliament. Some lawmakers from the opposition benches believe that the premier is unlikely to get the required number as he has failed to fulfill his voters’ expectations leading to his unprecedented unpopularity. However, the government is confident to have the required number and rejected the opposition’s demand. But the question is will Prime Minister Imran Khan take a vote of confidence?

Addressing the protesting opposition lawmakers, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi rejected the federal budget 2020-2021 and said that they were staging a protest on the roads for the sake of the people. “The government has destroyed the country’s economy. Prices of all essential items are increasing day by day due to ineffective policies of Imran Khan,” he added.

Abbasi further said that the federation has failed to prove any corruption charge against the PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

While talking to media, PML-N’s Khawaja Asif said that the government has lost the confidence of its allies. We have to get rid of this incompetent government at any cost, he urged. The PML-N leader said that the petrol price hike can also increase the cost of electricity and groceries.

Meanwhile, PPP’s Naveed Qamar said that opposition is protesting on the behalf of the nation. All Parties Conference (APC) is expected to be held very soon, he told. The PPP also asked the reason behind rising petroleum prices by Rs25.

Read More: Fights between Asad Umar, JKT and SMQ did not let PTI deliver, reveals Fawad Chaudhry

Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, a prominent Pakistani journalist and columnist who is also the chief editor of Daily Pakistan, opined in a talk-show that the demand presented by some senior leaders of PML-N is absurd. “the government under the leadership of the prime minister was able to get the Finance Bill 2020 approved then how can you ask the same government for a vote of confidence?” he asked. Mr. Shami believes that the premier enjoys the confidence of the treasury benches, and needs not to go again for the confirmation of the same.

Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar, a senior member of the ruling party, also confirmed in Hamid Mir’s show, Capital Talk, that the government has the required number in the house. He dispelled the impression of the minus-Khan formula and maintained that there was nothing like that. “This is merely the wish of the opposition, not a fact,” he added.

Will Prime Minister Imran Khan take a vote of confidence as Government gets the Finance Bill approved:

It is important to note that on June 12, Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar had presented an Rs7.14-trillion budget. The government benches were successful in getting the Finance Bill 2020 approved to give effect to the financial proposals. The House, however, rejected the amendments proposed by the Opposition in the bill.

On Sunday, the opposition parties had agreed to build a united front against the budget and made fiery speeches on the national issues in the session. Apart from protesting the budget, its lawmakers have also decided to demand PM Imran’s resignation.

Senior opposition leaders from the PPP, PML-N, and the JUI-F had earlier described it as an “enemy of the people”. Reacting to the budget, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said it would cause inflation and unemployment to rise.

Akhtar Mengal is coming back to the treasury benches

Erstwhile government ally BNP-M leader Akhtar Mengal had also announced his party’s move to break alliance with the ruling coalition, which caused a momentary hurdle for the government by depleting its numbers in the House.

Mengal believes that the government has failed to meet their demands, therefore, there was no reason to be part of the government anymore. Mengal’s six-point agenda includes recovery of missing persons, implementation of the National Action Plan, implementation of six percent quota for Balochistan in the federal government, immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees, and the construction of dams in the province to resolve the acute water crisis.

Read More: Why did BNP’s Akhtar Mengal announce withdrawal from the coalition government?

However, Amir Dogar revealed in Hamid Mir’s show that Mengal’s party will rejoin the treasury benches as the deal between the two has been finalized. ”PM Khan has assured the BNP-M leadership of his full support to their demands. They will soon be with us,” he said.

Will Prime Minister Imran Khan take a vote of confidence? At the moment, Prime Minister is unlikely to go for a vote of confidence as the opposition is not in a mood for any such move. However, if the government fails to manage the existing economic recession, there may be some challenges for the treasury benches.

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