Pakistan no-trust vote: PM Imran Khan suffers blow as MQM announces deal with opposition

Pakistani opposition legislators launched a no-confidence motion against Khan in parliament Monday hoping to oust Khan's government amid accusations he has mismanaged the nation's economy

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 09:11 AM IST
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A portrait of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan hangs near the National Assembly building in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Monday, March 28, 2022 | AP

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan received another blow as Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P), the major coalition partner of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, struck a deal with the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, according to local media reports.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted early Wednesday morning that the united opposition and MQM have reached an agreement.

A late night meeting between opposition leaders and the government-allied MQM-P created quite a stir in the capital.

While the combined opposition tried with all its might to prevail upon the party to announce a decision there and then, MQM-P avoided making a definitive statement at such a late hour and announced that it would make its decision public the next day.

An MQM-P spokesperson said that while the draft agreement had been finalised, the party would only announce its decision once the same was ratified by the coordination committee.

Senior MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari also confirmed the deal on Twitter, saying the agreement has been finalized and the details will be provided at 6pm today.

The late-night development ahead of the crucial vote on the no-confidence motion has left Imran Khan's future in tatters as the PTI government has lost the majority in the lower house of the parliament.

The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark at 172, the number needed by the opposition for the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan government to succeed.

If MQM-P were to throw its weight behind the opposition, it would drastically tilt the scales in the their favour. According to some estimates, the ruling coalition has a strength of 171 members, since the lone Jamaat lawmaker has elected to stay neutral in the no-confidence vote.

The opposition, on the other hand, seems to have 169 members on its side after the Balochistan Awami Party joined its ranks.

This precarious balance could easily be tilted if the MQM-P’s seven members cross over to the opposition’s side.

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