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Bugti killing adds edge to Oppn no-trust move

Galvanised after the killing of Baloch leader, the Oppn is gearing up to debate the no-trust motion against PM Aziz.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2006 14:28 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Galvanised after the killing of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, Pakistan's parliamentary Opposition was on Tuesday gearing up to debate the no-confidence motion against the government of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

However, falling far short of the magic figure of 172 that is the majority, the Opposition, which has only 141 National Assembly members, is unlikely to see through the motion.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League QA and its allies have 201 members in the house of 342 members.

However, coming two days after Bugti's killing in a military operation in a remote part of Balochistan, the debate is bound to witness the opposition's sound and fury.

This is only the second no-confidence motion in parliament in Pakistan that has witnessed several phases of military rule and guided parliamentary democracies.

Charging the Aziz government - but in effect President Pervez Musharraf - with poor governance, the Opposition would lead the attack by alleging that the killing was the result of the government's failure to conduct a political dialogue and look into the Baloch people's grievances.

Musharraf did not speak about the debate at a public meeting in Balochistan, but let Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi quote him.

The opposition's no-confidence motion "will fail as people are satisfied with the policies of President Pervez Musharraf, his team and the government", Elahi was quoted as saying by The Nation newspaper.

The Opposition tabled the no-trust motion with the signature of 137 members along with a 500-page charge sheet against the government.

The speaker of the National Assembly Chaudhry Amir Hussain decided last week that Tuesday would be the D-day for debate and discussion on the no-trust motion.

The News International said the mode for debate had not been finalised as Hussain wanted to follow the precedent and procedure adopted by former NA speaker Malik Meraj Khalid when a no-trust motion was moved against Benazir Bhutto in 1989.

The Opposition has been demanding that all movers of the no-trust motion should speak while the speaker insists that only four members of the opposition would be allowed to while Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz defend himself.

"Rowdyism is being anticipated in the house on the issue as the opposition is not in a mood to budge on the demand," The News International said.

Another demand of the Opposition to hold secret balloting on the no-confidence motion has also been rejected by the government.

The government hinted that a division would be held to decide the fate of the motion.

First Published: Aug 29, 2006 12:22 IST