Blow for Pakistan PM Imran Khan as over 50 ministers go missing
Islamabad, Mar 26: In yet another blow to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, over 50 federal and provincial ministers have reportedly gone missing as the cricketer-turned-politician faces the crucial no-confidence motion.
More than 50 of the federal and provincial ministers have not been seen in public since the opposition began stacking up perils against Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan's Tribune reported. Among them, 25 are said to be federal and provincial advisers and special assistants, four are ministers of states and 19 are special assistants, sources told the daily.
Khan, 69, is heading a coalition government and he can be removed if some of the partners decide to switch sides. He is facing a rebellion by his about two dozen lawmakers and allied parties which are also reluctant to pledge support to him. Both Khan and his ministers are trying to give the impression that everything was fine and he would come out victorious out of the trial.
The PTI has 155 members in the 342-member National Assembly and needs at least 172 lawmakers on its side to remain in the government.
On Friday, Pakistan National Assembly's crucial session on a no-trust motion against embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan was adjourned without tabling of the resolution, amid vociferous protests from opposition lawmakers.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said that the session was adjourned till 4 pm on March 28 due to the demise of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Khayal Zaman on February 14. According to Pakistan's Parliamentary conventions, the first sitting after the death of a lawmaker is limited to the prayers for the departed soul and tributes from fellow lawmakers.
Several prominent opposition members, including Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples' Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and co-chair Asif Ali Zardari were in the house on Friday to participate in the much-anticipated session.
As Speaker Qaiser adjourned the session, opposition leaders started protesting, requesting him to take up the motion but the speaker did not turn their microphones on and retired to his chamber. The speaker said that the decision on taking up the no-confidence motion would be taken in the next session.
The voting on the resolution should be held at least three to seven days after it has been laid before the National Assembly, according to rules. The National Assembly Secretariat had issued a 15-point 'Orders of the Day' for the NA session, which included the no-confidence resolution. PTI