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Government demands NA speaker to convene session immediately in face of no-trust motion

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  • 184 NA members “strongly” support PM Imran, Chaudhry says.
  • Opposition’s no-confidence motion “destined to fail”, he says.
  • PM “sole challenger of these merchants of horse-trading”, he adds.

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday called on the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to convene the session of the lower house after the Opposition filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

PM Imran Khan enjoys the support of the majority of parliamentarians, and the Opposition’s no-confidence motion was “destined to fail”, Chaudhry said while addressing a press conference alongside Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar.

The information minister said around 184 members of the National Assembly “strongly” support PM Imran Khan.

Chaudhry said PML-N and PPP have been involved in horse-trading in the past, and now, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari are “taking this practice to new heights.”

The information minister said Imran Khan was the “sole challenger of these merchants of horse-trading”.

“Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari believe in politics of money and looting and stashing national wealth abroad […] they are offering millions of rupees to buy the loyalty of our members,” Chaudhry said.

Chaudhry said JUI-F and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had also gotten personal benefits from the government of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

He said Fazl has also been accepting money from foreign forces.

The information minister announced that now the government would not engage in any kind of talks with the Opposition and would “treat it like criminals.”

Speaking on the occasion, Hammad Azhar said the prime minister had put the country’s economy on the path of growth and development.

Azhar said PM Imran Khan is pursuing an independent and strategic foreign policy in the best interest of Pakistan.

Asif Zardari ‘my next target’

With the no-confidence motion submitted to the NA secretariat, PM Imran Khan announced earlier today that after winning the trust of the lower house, he would turn his gun towards former president Asif Zardari.

Addressing charged PTI workers at the Governor House in Karachi, PM Imran Khan claimed that the motion is the “political death” of the Opposition.

“I was telling my team that they (Opposition) have done what I was praying for,” said PM Imran while speaking to the party workers during his day-long visit to Karachi — which was aimed at gaining assurance from MQM-P for their support amid the no-trust motion.

“No-confidence motion is their political death,” PM Imran Khan told his workers about the Opposition.

MQM-P ‘fully supports’ PM Imran Khan’

Following the premier’s meeting with PTI ally MQM-P, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi today claimed that the party has expressed its “full support” to PM Imran Khan.

However, in the post-meeting press conference, MQM-P said that the no-trust motion was not discussed during the “10-minute” meeting.

In a bid to save his government from being toppled by the joint Opposition, PM Imran had arrived in Karachi to meet MQM-P to seek their assurance ahead of voting on the no-trust motion.

FM Qureshi told the media after the meeting that PM Imran Khan and the MQM-P leadership discussed the political situation of the country.

“MQM and PTI are allies and will continue to cooperate with each other,” said Qureshi. He added that the premier formulated and finalised his strategy with the MQM-P in his meeting.

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Pakistan

As PM Shehbaz creates committees to address the PPP’s issues, a thaw is evident.

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In response to the issues brought up by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during their meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established committees.

The PPP heavyweights and PML-N leaders met after Bilawal did not attend the June 12 National Assembly session when the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024–25 was unveiled.

The PPP chief’s concerns were mostly addressed by the prime minister at the meeting, when he also ordered committees to look into his grievances.

Sources claim that on Friday, the committees would undertake discussions to settle the differences between the ruling parties.

Bilawal once voiced concern over the PPP’s lack of faith in the budget. He emphasised that the PML-N is not carrying out the arrangement that the PPP had made to support the government.

Additionally, he charged that the Punjabi government was erecting obstacles in the way of the PPP’s advancement in the region.

For the welfare of the people as well as the growth and prosperity of the nation, Prime Minister Shehbaz urged all political parties to cooperate.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Senate Chairman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, and Sherry Rehman were among the PPP delegation members.

Speaking at the event, the premier stated that additional talks over the budget for 2024–2025 were held with the Pakistan Peoples Party. He claimed that although the stock market had seen an unprecedented boom, the economy was exhibiting encouraging signs.

He claimed that the new fiscal year’s budget included measures to help the average person. He promised that committees will continue to be used for further consultation.

Afterwards, the prime minister hosted a dinner reception in honour of the PPP delegation.

In attendance were Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Ministers for Planning and Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Ali Pervez Malik, and former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique.

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The court hinted at a June 27 ruling in the Imran-Bushra iddat nikah case.

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Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi filed petitions in the iddat nikah issue, and a municipal court in Islamabad has intimated that it may rule on their cases by June 27.

Beyond this period, the court made it clear that no more time will be granted for arguments. “Even if no party appears, the court will take a decision based on the record of the case,” it said.

Supporters of PTI stood outside the courtroom during today’s hearing to show their support for Bushra Bibi.

Further Meetings Both Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan begged for their sentences to be suspended during the session, which was chaired by Judge Afzal Majoka.

The PTI founder was defended by attorney Salman Akram Raja, and Bushra Bibi was represented by Usman Riaz Gill. Khawar Maneka’s representative, Zahid Asif Chaudhry, wrote a letter.

Attorney Salman Akram Raja fervently pleaded in favour of the sentence suspension. “This case is, in fact, an abhorrent assault on a Pakistani woman’s chastity. Today, the court was presented with this entire discussion. The Supreme Court has issued multiple rulings. Each and every witness has admitted to lying to this court. “It has been made clear in front of the court,” Raja declared outside the building, wishing for the administration of justice.

The court made the observation that a judgement on the applications for sentence suspension needed to be made by June 27 at the latest.

The court stated that Salman Akram Raja’s arguments were only partially heard today in its written ruling for the day. Zahid Asif also sought for more time to prepare, and Usman Riaz Gill, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, asked for more time to make his case.

The next hearing is set for June 25 by the court. Using the available records, the decision about the applications for sentence suspension will be made before June 27, regardless of the attendance of all parties.

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“Awaam Pakistan”: These influential politicians are joining the new party led by Abbasi

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The former finance minister revealed in a statement that Abbasi will be the first convener of Awaam Pakistan, which will begin next month.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a former prime minister, will lead the Awaam Pakistan Party.

Awaam Pakistan will include former PML-N leaders Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi, Javed Abbasi, Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Zahid Binnouri, Rana Zahid Tauseef, and Sardar Anwar Soomro, according to Miftah’s announcement.

The former MQM MNA Sheikh Salahuddin and former health minister Dr. Zafar Mirza will also join the Abbasi-led party.

On July 6, the AP launch ceremony will take place in Islamabad.

From August 2017 to May 2018, Abbasi, the former prime minister, held the position.

Given his disagreements with the PML-N’s upper echelons, it is important to note that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had made multiple allusions to the possibility of starting a new party.

The former prime minister filed the necessary paperwork to the poll election commission in April of this year in order to register a new political party. He and the PML-N broke apart after a year of disagreements.

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