Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday took a jibe at the opposition for filing a no-trust motion against him in the National Assembly, warning them that “you are going to lose this match badly.”
Addressing a public gathering in Dargai tehsil of Malakand district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran said he had been advised to offer like-for-like bribes and bring back dissident members of the National Assembly (MNAs) to the party fold. “I would prefer losing the government than offer bribes and take the same route as the opposition has,” he said. “I curse on the government that requires me to bring back defected leaders using public money.”
The premier was talking about two dozen disgruntled MNA’s of the PTI who had “sought refuge” at the Sindh House out of the fear of the government ahead of the no-confidence motion against him. “They have committed a mistake by accepting a bribe from the opposition,” he said.
He promised to “forgive” his MNAs who have threatened to defect and vote against him in the upcoming no-trust move, saying, “I will forgive you if you come back. We all commit mistakes. I am like a father who forgives his children and I will pardon you as well.” He asked the “turncoats” to think of their children and their families who he said would not be given respect and honour anywhere if they go through with their plans. “You will not be able to attend public gatherings and no one would marry your children when they’d grow up,” he warned his MNAs.
“Now, the nation has become exceedingly aware of politics because of social media, so even a child in the country knows that when a party member becomes a turncoat, there is money involved.” The prime minister also asked the opposition whether thievery was “only bad when your adversary commits it”. “But when they join hands with you, does it become acceptable?” he questioned, recalling that the joint opposition’s leaders used to call each other thieves and looters not a while ago.
The prime minister also heaped praise on his government for successfully reaching an agreement with Barrick Gold mining company for the development of Reko Diq mine after 10 years of legal battles and negotiations. “I congratulate the people of Balochistan on this landmark achievement,” he said.
Separately Imran announced that he wanted “all records of public attendance to be broken” during his Islamabad rally at D-Chowk on March 27 in an effort to “fight for the soul of Pakistan”. In a tweet, he said he stood with what was right and condemned the “shameless buying of politicians’ souls by political mafias to protect their looted wealth”. Last week, the PTI had announced that it would hold a “massive power show” at D-Chowk on March 27 and take out a million people to the streets to express confidence in PM Imran.
On the other hand, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar announced that the reference for the interpretation of Article 63(A) was “ready” and would be presented before the Supreme Court today (Monday).
Taking to Twitter, the minister said, “Hopefully, with this case, the selling of consciousness by becoming turncoats will end once and for all.” He also hoped that the case would lead to a reduction in the acquisition of votes via illegitimate means.