Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed his close aides to quit passing disparaging remarks against allies of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), following increasingly antagonistic rhetoric from various government officials.
The PTI government has intensified its rhetoric against the opposition of late, as the date of the no-confidence vote nears.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid drew the ire of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) when he seemingly accused the party of ‘blackmailing’ the government for the Punjab chief minister position in return for the party’s continued support. He later clarified his remarks and said that he was speaking ‘in general’.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Shahbaz Gill also made a statement wherein he said that the PTI members who side with the opposition will be publicly shamed and their photos will be hung in cities.
Following the Prime Minister’s wishes, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated, “I have been constantly saying and will repeat it today that I, as a political worker, believe that all our allies are with us and my party and I have complete faith in them.”
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), long an ally of the government, recently held talks with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), vowing to join forces for the ‘greater interest of the country‘ but remained mum on how the MQM-P will vote in the no-confidence motion.
Similarly, two key players and former PTI-allies, MPA Aleem Khan and Jahangir Tareen, who oversees a critical voting bloc of approximately 30 lawmakers, have been in direct talks with the opposition.