As Pak opposition decides on mass resignation, PM Imran Khan faces heat from military

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Updated: Dec 08, 2020, 10:54 PM(IST)

File Photo: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( AFP )

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Reports say elected members of the PML(N) at the provincial level have begun handing in their resignations. 

Almost 50 per cent of Pakistan's Parliament members are set to resign with the opposition mulling mass resignation.

The Pakistan democratic movement which is an alliance of eleven opposition parties has been contemplating mass exit which might trigger a constitutional crisis in the middle of a pandemic.

A meeting of opposition leaders was held today and it stretched for hours. Sources say the opposition is united and they all ready to resign with the details and specifics being worked out.

Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz) leader Maryam Nawaz has been at the forefront of the movement.

"If we call for resignations from the assemblies, you must be willing to stand by us. Do not fall under any pressure,"  Maryam told party leaders while she was addressing the provincial and national assembly members of her party.

Reports say elected members of the PML(N) at the provincial level have begun handing in their resignations. 

Maryam Nawaz has made the same appeal to leaders of other opposition parties as well, if all of them walk the talk Pakistan will witness an unprecedented situation with more than half the legislators across the country resigning in protest against PM Imran Khan.

The campaign against PM Imran Khan has been gaining momentum for months with massive rallies held across around Pakistan as leaders like Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leading these jalsas with speeches critical of the Imran Khan-led government and the military establishment.

Another major rally is scheduled on December 13 at Lahore's Minar-e-Pakistan. However, PM Imran Khan has been trying to stop the campaign. His government has refused permission to hold the rally.

PM Imran Khan says the police will book everyone involved which means not just political leaders and party workers, he has promised he won't spare even the caterer who supplies chairs or those installing mikes and speakers at the venue - the kind of threats that can only be issued in Pakistan.

The Pakistan opposition has joined hands like never before - the Sharifs and the Bhutto-Zardaris - the leaders whom Imran Khan had put behind bars have now closed ranks. 

Imran Khan's only hope is the military that is said to have selected him for the PM's job but the military too seems to be gearing up for a shift.

They have largely and now openly taken control of the civilian government. Now they want to control Chinese investments in Pakistan to secure China's interests even if the civilian government collapses.

So the Pakistan army has set its sights on the China-Pakistan economic corridor(CPEC). Later this month a bill is supposed to hit the floor of the Pakistani parliament called the CPEC authority bill.

It is a law that would put a powerful body led by the military in charge of CPEC.

Right now, CPEC projects are being controlled by the planning and development ministry at least on paper. 

However, after the bill is passed the Chinese projects will be controlled by the CPEC authority - the same authority that is headed by retired Army general Asim Saleem Bajwa, the infamous pizza general who had to leave the Pakistani government over charges of graft.

The bill is likely to be brought before the parliament in the second week of December. The idea is simple: eliminate the government from all projects related to China. General Bajwa will replace the planning minister as the co-chair of a Pakistan-China joint committee.

The army wants to appease the Chinese since they are unhappy over the progress of CPEC projects. So the Pakistani military is making amends. It will now officially handle Chinese investments in Pakistan. It is something China demanded way back in 2016, so the writing is on the wall for Imran Khan. The opposition is gunning for him and the military won't think twice before disposing of him. 

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