“Democracy is the best revenge Jiye Bhutto” ….. tweeted PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s official candidate was humbled in Senate (upper House) elections.
“If he (the Prime Minister) has honour then he should himself resign (from the office). Imran Khan should submit his resignation today as the demand for his resignation is no more only the opposition’s demand but it has now become a demand of the government members as well,” said a cheerful Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari while speaking at a news conference at the Zardari House.
In the elections for Senate, Pak government’s candidate Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost at the hands of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s surprise’ vanquishing of Imran Khan-led PTI’s finance minister Hafeez Shaikh in the Senate election on the Islamabad seat is bound to have a huge impact politically.
Not only did the PPP leadership demand resignation of the Prime Minister Imran, but Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has also said a no-trust motion was not ruled out.
“There will be a long march and there will be no-confidence motion. We will decide its timing and place,” he said.
Now one reason attributed for the defeat of the government candidate is that Prime Minister Imran “hardly ever came to the parliament” and as a result, many of the members of the National Assembly (Pak lower House of Parliament) were primed to express their frustration through their vote.
The PPP chairman said that Gilani’s victory was also an expression of a no-confidence in the IMF-dictated budget and a reaction of the people over the prevailing price hike and unemployment in the country.
The PDM, he said, would continue its democratic struggle and “the war against this puppet government and will soon send this cruel government packing”.
Speaking on the occasion, Gilani thanked the PDM leaders including Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz, Akhtar Mengal and others and said that he would personally visit these leaders to offer his gratitude.
Opposition nominee Gilani secured 169 votes while Finance Minister Shaikh bagged 164 votes. An article ‘Dawn’ said – “The divide between elected and non-elected people in the PTI was deeper than imagined. There was genuine grievance in the rank and file about the importance that Prime Minister Imran Khan was giving to unelected advisers. The backlash was one reason why key advisers like Babar Awan, Barrister Shehzad Akbar and a few other hopefuls were not given senate tickets. Hafeez Shaikh, as per party insiders, was not a popular candidate”.
There was also a related issue.
Bhutto-Zardari evaded a question about the leaked video of Gilani’s son telling the PTI members about the technique to waste their votes, saying that if the government had made an attempt to get its rival candidate disqualified from the race only a day before the elections, this showed that they already knew the results.
Imran is taken aback and rattled. So now he says, the Prime Minister will move a confidence motion himself.
Hence, Imran Khan will table the trust motion in the National Assembly on Saturday.
“In my opinion, today is a sad day for democracy. Those who claimed to be the torchbearers of democracy have killed the principles of democracy,” said Khan loyalist and foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
A number of other opposition leaders, including Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif, through their social media accounts on Twitter, also felicitated Gilani.
Sharif also spoke to former Prime Minister Gilani over the telephone and congratulated him.
PML-N President and opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, who had been brought to the capital to cast his vote through a production order, in a statement said that Gilani’s victory was the expression of a no-confidence by lawmakers in Imran Khan’s government.
“Those who have destroyed the people and the country’s economy and the vote thieves, sugar thieves and flour thieves have been exposed,” said Shehbaz Sharif.