Prime Minister Imran Khan invited the entire country to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-(PTI) Insaf’s power display on March 27 at Islamabad’s Parade Ground, urging people to join him in “standing against evil.”
The prime minister opened his recorded message by invoking a verse from the Holy Quran. Muslims have been encouraged to “stand with good and against evil,” he said.
“For the past 30 years, a band of thieves has been robbing the country, indulging in corruption, and moving money abroad in front of everyone.”
He claimed that this “gang” had banded together and set a price on the “conscience” of public officials, adding that these officials “were being bought.”
“On March 27, I’d like the entire country to join me in sending a single message: we’re not with evil; we’re against it. That we are opposed to the crimes against democracy and the nation committed when public officials’ consciences are purchased with stolen money.”
He remarked that everyone in the country should be aware that horse-trading will no longer be tolerated as a means of undermining Pakistan and democracy.
The message from the prime minister comes as the government is facing a no-confidence vote from the opposition. Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser has called a meeting of the lower house on March 25 (tomorrow) at 11 a.m. to discuss the opposition’s no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The prime minister was notified on Wednesday that his party’s supporters had opted to join the opposition, prompting the ruling PTI to increase its attempts to pacify its irritated coalition partners.
PM Imran was informed in the PTI’s Political Committee meeting that their friends had opted to join the opposition camp and vote against him on the no-trust resolution, according to a government source.
On this, the prime minister dispatched senior PTI leaders to meet with partner party leaders and ensure them that their concerns will be addressed. On election day, he hoped that his allies would return to the administration and vote with him in the National Assembly.
When called, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry stated that the next 48 hours were “very important” in resolving the political issue. In this hour of need, he hoped that allies would not abandon the prime minister.
PM says he’ll get the last laugh
Meanwhile, a confident PM Imran projected that he would win the no-confidence vote and that he would have the final laugh, claiming that he still had a “trump card” that would be presented at the appropriate time.
“Let me predict categorically that we will win the no-confidence motion because the entire party and our workers are standing by us like a rock, and even the raging debate on the menace of corruption and horse-trading has become a topic of household discussion,” the premier said to a group of reporters in his office at the picturesque Prime Minister House on Wednesday.
He questioned why PPP chairwoman and then-prime minister Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was removed from office in 1996, despite having a vote bank of at least 33% in national politics, before claiming that it was because the “people were not behind her” at the time.
The PTI, on the other hand, was a different storey, with its workers standing firm behind their leaders. Rather, more people were entering the party ranks, according to the premier, who added that no ‘political animal’ could survive such public sentiment.
The premier, dressed in a traditional white shalwar suit and holding a scarlet rosary in his right hand, recounted how the 1992 Pakistani cricket team, although being the weakest, won the world cup because its skipper was confident from the start. He claimed that the opposition, under duress, had revealed all of their cards ahead of time, but that no one knew what the government had planned for them.
The prime minister acknowledged that ruling party legislators were “openly being enticed in” or “threatening” to abandon the PTI-led government, but he claimed he had several options that would be made public a day or two before the election.
He predicted that the swelling tide of public opinion in his favour will increase much more on March 27, when the PTI administration will hold the country’s largest-ever public demonstration in Islamabad. He claimed that the government’s allies were also keeping a careful eye on the situation. He warned all lawmakers that facing public anger if they went against the government would be extremely tough.