Former president and PPP chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday that the coalition government had decided to table no-confidence motions in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies. The statement comes days after PTI chairman Imran Khan announced plans to “quit the corrupt system and leave all the assemblies”. However, the PTI has yet to announce a date for the dissolution of assemblies in Punjab and KP, where the PTI is in power.
In an interview, Zardari ruled out snap polls saying that it won’t “suit us or democracy”.
“It’s too immature and too soon to say anything about the elections. I don’t think there is a possibility of the establishment forcing early elections,” he said.
However, at the same time, he asserted that the coalition parties would contest the polls if the PTI succeeded in dissolving the provincial assemblies. “I will see how many MPAs Imran is able to get.”
In response to a question about the Pakistan Democratic Movement tabling no-confidence motions, Zardari said: “God willing.”
He went on to say that the motions would be submitted “everywhere”.
“Even in KP. We have seats [there]. There are some friends who have gone astray […] we have to bring them back. We will bring a way in which they won’t have to resign.”
Zardari claimed that he had numbers in Punjab which were sufficient to throw the PTI government.
When asked if Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi could be reached out to again, the PPP chairman said that there was a distance between the two of them.
“I made Elahi deputy prime minister and gave them 17 ministries. This time they opted out themselves. We have bigger choices than them now.”
In response to a question on the appointment of Chief of Army Staff Asim Munir, Zardari said that the new army chief came on the institution’s choice.
“I told PM Shehbaz to use his constitutional right. I told him we are your allies […] we give you authority to use your constitutional power. Shehbaz is a good man, he could have not called us and selected the COAS.”
The former president said that there may be some things that coalition leaders differed on but promised that it won’t dent their alliance because “everything is irrelevant, only Pakistan is relevant”.He went on to say that he didn’t personally know Gen Munir. “He was the first person on the list [sent to the Prime Minister House]. And as per seniority, he was selected.”