In-house change still possible: Raja Pervaiz Ashraf

PPP Punjab president asks opposition to bring a vote of no-confidence against PM Khan

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab President and former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf believes that his party could convince the opposition parties to bring a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In an exclusive interview with Minute Mirror, he shed light on the possibility of a change in government.

“A new government could be set up even for a brief period of one and a half years. We once again propose the opposition parties to bring a vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan,” said Ashraf in an interview with Minute Mirror on Sunday.

Raja said that it seemed that the incumbent government was intentionally fanning inflation to irritate the public. On speaking about how he was sure to bring an in-house change, Ashraf said that the PPP had the capacity to convince the opposition parties.

Responding to a question of whether he had personal contacts within Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) or if the leaders of the ruling party contacted him because it seemed quite impossible without their support, Raja said, “We have good terms with the establishment, and I think we never had bad relations with them.”

“A new government could be set up
even for a brief period of
one and a half years”

“You know, a move with a consensus on the basis of sky-rocketing inflation and unemployment can send the PTI government packing home,” he added and shared that this was the very idea of their possible strategy against the ruling party.

He said, “It will be an injustice with the public if they continue to sit idle, therefore I ask the opposition again to get united against this puppet government.”

Coming down hard on PTI, he said that the devaluation of the rupee against the dollar was the result of the wrong policies of PM Khan’s government.

On being asked about his new responsibility as president of the party in Punjab, and his hopes and expectations, Raja stated, “By-election of NA-133 is a test case for us in Punjab.”  He also indirectly confessed the weakness and differences among the party workers by saying that he always asked Jiyalas [party workers] to ignore the ‘differences’ and ‘get united’.

He nodded confidently in the affirmative when asked whether the PPP would be able to get the anti-PML-N vote in Lahore’s by-election.

“Hailing from a small province, PPP is the party of the federation and a hope for the public in this difficult time,” he added. He was very sure that his party would win the NA-133 seat.

While replying to what the plan for the party would be if it failed to succeed in the by-election, he said, “We never thought about the failure. If PPP wins this election, it means that we will be able to form the government in Punjab in the next general elections. So, this is a matter of do or die for us.”

He was very optimistic to see the rising public support in the constituency of NA-133, saying that the voters were joining hands with the PPP.

When asked that how Chaudhry Aslam Gill was chosen as a candidate for the seat among many others, even though he had never been elected to the National or provincial assembly since he joined politics, Ashraf replied that they brought him to the field with the consensus of the party leadership and they all were sure that he was the right candidate.

“Chaudhry Aslam Gill is our leader and he will win the election,” he said, optimistically. He also said that the party’s top leadership was monitoring the situation.

“You as a journalist know better what the other parties or their leaders have given to the public. I, therefore, ask the voters that they should give a chance to Chaudhry Aslam Gill,” he said, vowing that he would go to every voter’s door to seek votes for Gill.

“This sky-rocketing inflation is the result of the wrong policies of PML-N and PTI. So, let the new faces come to serve the nation,” he added.

Fida Hussnain is a correspondent covering judiciary, politics, business and health issues. He is also a feature writer and researcher with major work on freedom of press in Pakistan. He tweets @fidahassanain and can be reached at