Pakistan PM Imran Khan loses another ally before crucial no-confidence vote

Islamabad: Less than an hour before Imran Khan’s power show in Islamabad, the Pakistan Prime Minister has lost Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Shahzain Bugti — an ally who announced his separation from the government, saying that he will vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against the country’s PM.

Shahzain Bugti, who was serving as the Imran Khan’s Special Assistant on Reconciliation and Harmony in Balochistan resigned from his post after a meeting with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Bugti announced that he would support the opposition in the wake of the no-confidence motion submitted against Imran Khan. Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf set to face a no-trust motion in the National Assembly. The session is called on March 28.

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The no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led government was submitted by the Opposition on March 8 after the PPP’s long march in Islamabad. The Opposition is confident that its motion would be carried as many PTI lawmakers have come out in the open against PM Imran Khan.

As the crucial no-confidence motion inches closer and uncertainty continues to shroud political alliances, at least 50 ministers belonging to the ruling party have gone ‘missing’, Tribune reported citing sources.
The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark being 172.

The PTI led coalition was formed with the support of 179 members, with Imran Khan’s PTI having 155 members, and four major allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) having seven, five, five and three members respectively.

Imran Khan’s situation is precarious given that three of the four allies, that is, MQM-P, PML-Q, and BAP have stated their support to the Opposition’s no-confidence motion and said that they will vote accordingly.

In a last-ditch attempt, Imran Khan recently dispatched a team of senior PTI leaders to meet the allies and assured them that their reservations would be addressed.

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