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Pakistani opposition calls for PM’s resignation after government ally quits coalition

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s joint opposition on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign after a major coalition partner officially announced his withdrawal of support for the government, leading to the loss of the majority of the ruling Tehreek-e party -Insaf at the National Assembly.

The Muttahida Qaumi-Pakistan Movement has reached an agreement with the opposition Pakistan People’s Party and announced that it will vote against Khan in a no-confidence vote due to take place in early April.

Khan, a former cricket star, faces his toughest political challenge since taking office in 2018 as the opposition tabled a no-confidence motion against him in the National Assembly on Monday, amid accusations he said. which he mismanaged the economy and mismanaged.

The MQM-P has seven legislators in the National Assembly, bringing the opposition total to 175 out of the 342 members of the National Assembly, three votes more than the number required to overthrow the Khan administration.

“We are with you in this change and hope it will help bring about positive changes in people’s lives,” Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, head of MQM-P, said at a joint press conference with leaders. of the opposition.

Previously, the party’s two federal ministers had resigned from their ministerial portfolios to join the ranks of the opposition.

“The prime minister should establish a new tradition by tendering his resignation after losing the majority,” National Assembly opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif said at a joint press conference with other politicians who want to oust Khan.

The opposition alliance has also nominated Sharif, chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, for the coveted post of prime minister after Khan’s departure.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also demanded the prime minister’s resignation, saying he had lost the majority and the confidence of the house.

“The prime minister has no options left,” he said, adding that the vote on the no-confidence motion could take place even on Friday if Khan decides not to stand down.

“Today, MQM Pakistan has joined the ranks of the opposition. Shehbaz Sharif rightly gave (Khan) a challenge in the statesman’s mind to resign.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam party, another key opposition member, said the opposition’s common goal was to “achieve prosperity and stability in the country”.

“We will work on it,” he added. “We want to become a nation.”