Wednesday 25 May 2022
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50+ Pakistan ministers go missing even as NA session stands postponed

The Pakistan National Assembly's ongoing session had been adjourned without tabling the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan government

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As the crucial no-confidence motion inches closer and uncertainty continues to shroud political alliances, at least 50 ministers belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have gone ‘missing from the political front, Express Tribune reported.

More than 50 of the federal and provincial ministers have not been seen in public since the opposition began stacking up perils against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Sources shared that out of these ministers, 25 happen to be federal and provincial advisers and special assistants, while four of them are ministers of state, four advisers and 19 special assistants.

The odd development comes as the deafening silence of many PTI ministers is feeding the speculation that by holding their tongues – much like the allies – the ministers might be weighing other options as they await the right time, The Express Tribune reported.

The PTI has 155 members in the 342-member National Assembly and needs at least 172 lawmakers on its side to remain in the government. On Friday, Pakistan National Assembly’s crucial session on a no-trust motion against embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan was adjourned without tabling of the resolution, amid vociferous protests from opposition lawmakers. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said that the session was adjourned till 4 PM on 28 March due to the demise of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Khayal Zaman on 14 February. According to Pakistan’s Parliamentary conventions, the first sitting after the death of a lawmaker is limited to the prayers for the departed soul and tributes from fellow lawmakers.

Several prominent opposition members, including Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples’ Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and co-chair Asif Ali Zardari were in the house on Friday to participate in the much-anticipated session.

As Speaker Qaiser adjourned the session, opposition leaders started protesting, requesting him to take up the motion but the speaker did not turn their microphones on and retired to his chamber. The speaker said that the decision on taking up the no-confidence motion would be taken in the next session.

However, at the federal level, the embattled Prime Minister continues to enjoy vigorous support.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, Minister of Pervez Khattak and Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed are among the most vocal stalwarts who continue to propagate the government’s narrative, putting themselves at the forefront in Khan’s defence.

However, a large number of federal and provincial ministers and cabinet members remain conspicuous for their absence in times of trouble.

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