Prime Minister Imran Khan emerged victorious after obtaining 178 of the required 172 votes of trust from National Assembly members on Saturday.
After the events that transpired on March 3, when the government candidate Abdul Hafeez Sheikh lost to the opposition nominee Yousuf Raza Gillani in the Senate race for the Islamabad general seat, the prime minister voluntarily announced that he will seek a vote of confidence from the parliament at 12:15pm on Saturday — a bold move that sent shock waves across the nation.
Addressing the assembly session after bagging 178 votes, the prime minister thanked the lawmakers for their support and confidence in him.
“When you come out of a difficult time, you get stronger,” the premier said. He said our biggest power house is our mind.
He commended the way his party reacted after the Islamabad Senate seat upset, saying that this experience had made them tougher.
The premier said he knew of many individual MNAs who tried hard to attend the vote, including some who were unable to come because of health problems.
PM Imran Khan said the government has decided to bring electoral reforms to ensure complete transparency in elections.
He said electronic voting machines will be introduced so that nobody questions the credibility of the elections and the results are acceptable to all.
Expressing apprehension over the questionable manner in which the Senate polls were held, the prime minister asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to get a briefing from intelligence agencies as to how much money was used to purchase votes.
He said his concerns regarding the Senate elections were not aimed at doing away with the independence of ECP.
Before the premier’s speech, his allies, including MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Fehmida Mirza, took the floor of the House to express their support and trust in the premier.
Siddiqui reminded the premier of his promises made with the party and said the allies had stood by him and now it is time that their recommendations are also reflected in the decisions made by the government.
“Change should not only be your slogan but your intention as well,” he said.
Siddiqui assured the prime minister of his party’s complete support for his agenda of change. “Let us move towards a welfare state from a security state.”
Mirza, too, congratulated PM Imran Khan and emphasised on the need for electoral, judicial and FBR reforms.