Rebel PTI MNA takes U-turn, announces support for Prime Minister

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Rebel PTI MNA takes U-turn, announces support for Prime Minister
Rebel PTI MNA takes U-turn, announces support for Prime Minister

Dehr, who had joined other dissenting lawmakers at Sindh House, had been critical of PM Imran, Punjab CM Buzdar

In a twist of events, Malik Ahmad Hussain Dehr, a lawmaker of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who had joined other rebel MNAs of the ruling party, announced support for Prime Minister Imran Khan in the no-confidence motion on Friday.

Responding to a journalist’s question after the National Assembly (NA) session, Dehr said that he was with the government, and his concerns were being addressed. He added that he met the premier, who would solve his issues, and once matters are settled, he would support him. To another question, he made it clear that he was still with PTI.

Dehr, who had joined other dissenting lawmakers at the Sindh House, had been critical of Prime Minister Imran and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. Responding to the government’s accusation of lawmakers indulging in horse-trading, Dehr, while speaking to the media, claimed that he had seen the premier meet dissenting provincial lawmakers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), questioning the rationale behind the accusation now.

He also came down hard on the provincial chief executive, accusing him of corruption, saying he had to pay a bribe at the CM Secretariat to get some work done. He also challenged the premier to resign if he proved corruption, adding that he would quit politics if proven wrong.

Earlier, the government had claimed that horse-trading was taking place at the Sindh House in the federal capital, and when the media went in, lawmakers of the treasury benches, voiced their grievances against the government, and announced their desire to vote according to their “conscience”. Soon after the public disclosure of dissent, the ruling party issued notices to its lawmakers and sought an explanation from them by March 26.

Later, in a change of heart, the government asked to them to return to the party’s fold, with Federal Minister of Interior Sheikh Rashid and Prime Minister Imran making concessionary statements while warning them of the consequences of leaving. Meanwhile, it also sought the Supreme Court’s (SC) interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution of Pakistan to assess whether defecting lawmakers’ votes could be valid and whether they could be disqualified for life.

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