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Bilawal unsure of no-confidence vote’s success

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has conceded that the opposition’s no-trust move against the prime minister is an uphill task and he cannot guarantee its success.

Addressing a press conference at the residence of Nadeem Afzal Chan on Sunday, Bilawal added that even if the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly fails, he will continue his struggle against “this puppet regime”.

Bilawal said that no confidence motion is not an easy task; however, it is a risk worth taking. He said that waiting for guarantees means leaving people at mercy of “this tyrant and unjust regime”.

In a veiled criticism of Pakistan Democratic Movement’s decision of long march on Islamabad and present en masse resignations, he said that no-confidence motion is the only move to bring this government under an immense pressure, even forcing them to reach out to their coalition partners.

He said that they have from the day one proposed a two-pronged strategy of not only fighting it out in parliament but also taking it to the streets to allow people to express their sentiments against the government. The PPP chief said that they can bring a no-confidence motion in aid of those from treasury benches, who have assured their support to all the three political parties in opposition camp but even that he cannot guarantee any success.

However, he added, if they have the support of the coalition partners, their chances of success in that case were “near certainty”. He said in politics, every vote was important, and politicians try to secure as many votes prior to election as possible.

He said Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Asif Ali Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif will soon hold a meeting to decide on the timeline of no-confidence vote.

When asked about neutrality of establishment, he said that establishment has historically never been neutral; however, in coming few days, they will get to know it for a fact if the establishment has actually become neutral or not, which in a way meant that if opposition manages to succeed in no-confidence motion, opposition will term establishment as neutral, however if the opposition fails then establishment will be blamed for its continued support for the PTI regime.

To a question about history of no-confidence motion’s failures including the one moved against his late mother Benazir Bhutto, the then prime minister of Pakistan, he interestingly said that the no-confidence motion moved against his mother was undemocratic while this time around their move is very much democratic.

Bilawal welcomed Chan back to PPP family, saying Chan in his heart has never forsaken his party.

Chan, thanked Bilawal and PPP leadership for having him back in the PPP family. He termed joining PTI as a mistake, stating that there were pressures upon him and his family owing to which he had to make that choice.

On the other hand, Waseem Chan, brother of Nadeem Afzal Chan, in a video clip stated that it is Nadeem’s personal decision and that his brothers and his father are not on board. He said his family is not with him on this decision. He said that they have PTI’s mandate that they will stand by PTI and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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