In what appears to be a tit-for-tat move, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Saturday that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will have to take a trust vote, media reports said.
Khan’s remarks came after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) threatened to leave the present coalition government. MQM-P’s votes are crucial to keep the incumbent prime minister in office, Geo News reported.
MQM-P has threatened to quit the federal government if its reservations regarding delimitations in Karachi and Hyderabad are not addressed ahead of the local government polls – scheduled for January 15.
However, in a bid to keep them in the alliance, Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman have assured the MQM-P of addressing its concerns.
Against the backdrop of the recent political developments, Khan, during an interview with a private television channel, said: “PTI has passed the test. Now, Shehbaz Sharif will be fully tested,” Geo News reported.
Referring to the recent vote of confidence taken by Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi, Khan said: “Our numbers had been completed. Moonis Elahi worked hard at the last moment to achieve the required numbers for the PML-Q.”
The cricketer-turned-politician, while denying allegations of horse-trading, said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is still stuck to the “politics of Changa Manga”.
“The country has changed but they don’t realise it,” the PTI Chairman said, adding that for the first time in the country’s history, Punjab stood against the Punjab establishment during the by-elections in July 2022.
“The bypolls changed the country’s politics.”