MNAs coerced to vote for PM, claims Maryam

ISLAMABAD   –   Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Sunday alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan obtained his vote of confidence from members of the National Assembly after they were coerced into allegiance.

She said the lawmakers were coerced into pledging allegiance to the PM allegedly with the support of secret agencies and state institutions. The Parliament Lodges were turned into a bunker with all the party MNAs being monitored with drone cameras, the PML-N leader claimed.

She also said that the vote of confidence sought by the PM is of no legal, constitutional, moral and political worth as she addressed the media after a six-hour long party meeting which discussed the party’s strategy with senior leaders about the announced long march, upcoming by-elections in Daska and NA-249, the seat vacated by the PTI leader Faisal Vawda in Karachi.

Senior leaders including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and others were in attendance of the meeting as Hamza Shahbaz participated in the proceedings through video link from Lahore.

On Saturday, the national assembly reaffirmed its confidence in PM Imran Khan by voting in his favour as the premier secured 178 votes, six more than the required number of 172. However, the PDM boycotted the NA session which was specifically convened by President Arif Alvi for the purpose.

Maryam alleged that two of the PTI MNAs who were not willing to support Imran Khan in the vote of confidence were frisked away and locked up in a container for four hours by the officials of secret agencies to pressure them into pledging their allegiance to the prime minister. She said that the premier has once again dragged the state institutions and agencies into political matters and used their support to pressure his own lawmakers for Saturday’s vote of confidence.

“These agencies are also answerable to the people of this country and the PML-N workers,” she demanded.

Commenting on the manhandling of PML-N allegedly at the hands of PTI workers, Maryam said the party would not take the episode lightly.

“If you slap 2, we will slap 10 times,” she threatened and added, “Every PML-N worker owes the humiliation.” She said she took the manhandling of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other PML-N leaders as a personal matter. She said the vote of confidence obtained by the PM is part of “Beta Bachao Mohim.” “A failed, incompetent and incapable was saved,” she said and added, “Imran Khan, you know your time is up”.

To a question, she claimed next government in Punjab would be of PML-N.

The PML-N leader also announced to field former finance minister Miftah Ismail as its candidate in NA-249 by-election. Vawda resigned from the NA-249 seat after casting his vote in the recently-held Senate elections.

In the 2018 general elections, Vawda had defeated former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif by a narrow margin.

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