Imran wins vote of confidence, thanks allies

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Sharafat Kazmi/ Ijaz Kakakhel
Islamabad

Showing more strength, Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday secured 178 votes, six more than required, to win the vote of confidence from the National Assembly, amid boycott by all opposition parties.

Announcing the result of counting, Speaker Asad Qaisar said in two and half years the PM was able to get two more confidence votes as compared to August 2018 in which he got 176 votes.

Legally the PM have to get 172 votes to remain on the chair. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi presented the resolution in the House.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Mehmood Khan were also present in the House.

After getting the vote of confidence the PM thanked the government and allies parties for expressing confidence in him.

“Now our team will get stronger and stronger. Pakistan was not created for the billionaires like Sharifs and Zardaris,” he declared.

Billed as a bold step, the special session was called after the premier voluntarily sought a trust vote following an upset in the Senate elections on March 3.

Addressing the assembly after his win, the calm, composed and more confident looking Prime Minister asserted that none can stop Pakistan’s progress.

He also announced electoral reforms, saying, “we are doing things; we are fully engaged with overseas Pakistanis so they can cast votes, and secondly, we are bringing electronic machines, among other steps, also to ensure complete transparency in electoral processes”.

The premier also said that the way Senate elections were held is embarrassing but thanked his allies for supporting him through thick and thin.

The women members were made the phone calls and told that the rate would start from Rs 20 million.

“The ECP should get secret briefing and will come to know how much money was used in Senate election. Then it will not say that an attempt was made to attack its freedom,” he added.

Prime Minister once again categorically stated that he would not give NRO to the corrupt elements even though the opposition continued its pressure tactics for this ‘purpose’.

Yet again, he highlighted the importance of building the nation on the principles of justice and rule of law on the pattern of the state of Madina.

While lashing out at opposition leaders, Khan said that it had been proved Asif Zardari was a corrupt man.

“All used to say him Mr 10 percent and films were also made on him. Fazalur Rehman is a No 2 person,” he said. He also termed Yousaf Raza Gillani the most corrupt person.

“Nawaz Sharif is a dacoit criminal who is fleeing from the country after telling a lie. I will not give the NRO no matter how much they worry me,” he added.

He said that Nawaz Sharif faked illness to go abroad to avoid legal consequences of his corruption. He termed opposition leaders as thieves who were blackmailing his government for an NRO and said that these people tried to sabotage FATF legislation by linking it to amendments in the NAB law. They had put the country at stake to get rid of corruption cases against them, he alleged.

Imran Khan claimed that country is on road to economic recovery as the current account is improving constantly and now even the rupee is strengthening against the dollar without government intervention.

However, the premier said the biggest pressure on him was the issue of inflation, but every effort is being made to tackle the issue.

Referring to the performance of the government, the Prime Minister said Pakistan has achieved economic stability and reached the stage to move forward.

He said the Current Account Deficit remained surplus for the five months for the first time in seventeen years.

This happened regardless of the breakout of Covid-19 which adversely impacted economies around the world.

Imran Khan said the government has launched mega projects such as Ravi City, Business Center Lahore and Bundal island for the wealth creation to retire the debt.

He said these projects will not only bring investments in the country but also go a long way in protecting the environment and develop cities on modern lines.

The Prime Minister said the government will soon launch a program to ensure that nobody sleeps hungry.

He appreciated the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for extending health insurance to every household in the province.

He said the Punjab government also targets to reach every family by the end of this year.

The Prime Minister said a mega program is also being introduced for the farmers to enhance the agri productivity. Cooperation in this regard has also been sought from China.

PM Imran Khan told the House that the government has decided to bring electoral reforms to ensure complete transparency in elections.

He said electronic voting machines will be introduced so that nobody questions the credibility of the elections and the results are acceptable to all.