PTI leader and former minister Hammad Azhar said on Wednesday that the party has decided to hold a gathering outside the Punjab Governor House on Thursday (tomorrow), adding that Chairman Imran Khan will address supporters and announce a new “plan of action”.
“Attempts are being made to disrespect the PTI mandate […] our MPAs are getting telephone calls and money of the Zardari rule is being used for games in Punjab,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention that Imran had last week said that his governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will dissolve provincial assemblies this Friday (Dec 23).
Subsequently, the coalition government had sprung into action to prevent Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi from dissolving the Punjab Assembly.
On Sunday, Dawn reported that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met with cabinet members from PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat’s faction and discussed the prospects of CM Elahi to join hands with the PDM with PML-Q ministers Salik Hussain and Tariq Bashir Cheema.
Meanwhile, former president Asif Ali Zardari continued consultations on the future of the provincial legislature with Shujaat. The federal ruling alliance has its eyes set on the 10 PML-Q lawmakers in Punjab as the tally may swing in its favour if at least seven of the MPAs are ‘persuaded’ to change their loyalties.
According to a party insider, both Zardari and Shujaat have been working on these lines.
Referring to these developments in a media talk flanked by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in Lahore today, Azhar said that the public would not stay quiet anymore.
“This time, the nation will show what it wants […] The people will not become silent spectators. Enough is enough.
“Imran has decided that we will collect a big crowd outside the Governor House to prevent them [the Pakistan Democratic Movement] from taking any unconstitutional steps,” Azhar said.
He went on to say the PTI chief will address the gathering at 5pm and announce the way forward.
Meanwhile, Chaudhry claimed that PTI’s female members were “offered money from Zardari sahab’s party”.
“The MPAs told Imran Khan that they got calls in Multan and Lahore […] they were told to abstain and remain missing from the vote of confidence [against Elahi], but they rejected that too,” he said.
In a double-edged move on Monday, Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman had asked CM Elahi to obtain a vote of confidence from the Punjab Assembly today, while PML-N and PPP lawmakers submitted a separate no-trust resolution against him in a bid to bar him from dissolving the assembly.
However, the PTI had said that Elahi would not seek the vote of confidence and termed the governor’s order “illegal”.
Commenting on the matter in today’s media talk, Chaudhry reiterated that the governor’s order was “unconstitutional”, adding that if “Rehman crosses his limits, he can be charged under Article 6 [treason] of the Constitution”.