Imran’s ouster almost certain after key ally joins Opposition

Islamabad, March 30 (IANS) The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key ally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led coalition government, formally announced on Wednesday that it is joining the Opposition ranks ahead of the no-trust vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dawn reported.
With MQM-P’s weight behind the joint Opposition, Imran Khan will lose his majority in the National Assembly and if the situation remains the same till voting on the no-trust motion, which is expected to take place on April 3, his ouster is all but certain.
MQM-P’s announcement was made by party convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui at a press conference in Islamabad alongside leaders of the joint Opposition.
“We have gathered at a historic moment. More than congratulations, this is a test through which the national leadership has to pass,” Siddiqui said.
“Today is also a day for prayers… Common people’s wishes have been fulfilled. I expect that this time we can [strive for] a democracy whose effects can reach the common people of Pakistan.
“We have joined you (the Opposition) on this journey with these expectations. We are not seeking any individual or party benefits. Every clause of our agreement is for the common public of Pakistan, and especially for those areas which we have been representing for the last 35 years. The areas for which we believe immediate steps are needed,” Siddiqui added.
“We have prioritised Pakistan’s interests over all individual interests,” he said.
Following Maqbool’s announcement, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Shahbaz Sharif, said: “Today is an important day in Pakistan’s history because a joint Opposition — a national jirga of the Opposition — has come together and efforts have been made for national unity.”
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from the Pakistan Peoples Party also thanked MQM-P and described its decision of teaming up with the Opposition as “historic”.
“I want to repeat that PPP and MQM-P’s working relationship is not related to the no-confidence motion. PPP and MQM-P have to work together under any condition, if we want to work for Karachi and Pakistan’s prosperity,” he said.
“Imran Khan has now lost his majority. He is not the Prime Minister anymore. The Parliament session is tomorrow. Let’s hold voting tomorrow and settle this matter. We can then start working on transparent elections and the journey towards restoration of democracy and an end to the economic crisis can then begin.”

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