In a new twist to the acrimonious confidence vote, Pakistan opposition has alleged that two Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) were locked up in a container for four hours to pressurise them to vote in favour of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The explosive claim was made in a press conference by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, who alleged that the government took the help of intelligence agencies to secure the vote of confidence for Khan.
Maryam, the daughter of PMN-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, said that government lawmakers were “in touch” with her party.
She alleged that the spy agencies had “made people disappear” on behalf of the prime minister ahead of Saturday’s trust vote, Dawn newspaper reported.
Khan decided to take a vote of confidence after finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh lost the Senate election, leading to calls by the Opposition for the prime minister’s resignation.
The trust vote taken by Khan “has no legal, constitutional, political or moral value”, Maryam Nawaz said.
“It has come to our personal knowledge that two MNAs who were not ready to vote for [the prime minister] until the last moment were taken to the compound of an institution in Golra (near Islamabad), kept locked up in a container there for four hours and were forced by personnel of agencies to vote in favour of Imran Khan,” she said.
“The way you used Pakistan’s secret agencies for your benefit is very shameful. Is this all agencies in Pakistan are left for? Will their role from now on be to throw their institution into politics in order to protect a man who is being rejected by the people?” she said.
She pointed that Prime Minister Khan knew he would “lose badly” if the agencies hadn’t helped him, Dawn reported.
The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of 11 opposition parties, has announced a long march in Islamabad on March 26.
(With inputs from agencies)