Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has floated to the press that 14 to 15 members of the opposition are in fact supporting Prime Minister Imran Khan, following Friday’s vote on the controversial State Bank (Amendment) Bill.
The minister said that the opposition should bear in mind that 14 to 15 opposition lawmakers stand with the prime minister ‘in their hearts.’
On Friday, eight members of the opposition, including Leader of the Opposition in Senate Yousaf Raza Gilani were absent for the critical State Bank (Amendment) Bill vote, leading some to speculate whether their absence had been intentional to ensure the bill’s approval. Earlier today, Gilani announced his resignation for missing the vote.
With the passage of the bill, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government got one step closer to resuming the sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF executive board is expected to take a decision on the disbursement to Pakistan of about $1 billion tranche on February 2.
Speaking about the IMF loan program, Rashed told the press that the decision was not a choice but a necessity to improve the country’s dwindling economy.
He also acknowledged the wave of terrorist attacks across Balochistan, which have left at least a dozen civilians dead, as well as 10 soldiers. He further affirmed that the government was committed to fighting both the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) .