Not necessary for PM Shehbaz to take trust vote at someone's demand: Khawaja Asif.

ISLAMABAD -- Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif can take a vote of confidence from the National Assembly himself, adding that it is not necessary he takes it at someone's demand.

The minister was confident that even if the PM is asked to take a trust vote the party would be able to show complete numbers.

The defence minister's remarks come in the backdrop of a demand from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan who said last week that PM Shehbaz will have to take a trust vote. Khan's demand came to the fore after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) threatened to leave the coalition government in the centre - whose votes are crucial to keep the incumbent prime minister in office.

The centre faces no threat from the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly, he said replying to a question, while talking to the media on Monday. The minister voiced similar views while speaking to Shazeb Khanzada on his current affairs programme aired late Monday night. The PML-N has not been damaged nor will it be cornered, he asserted.

However, he said if Hamza Shahbaz, the former Punjab chief minister, had been present at the time of the vote of confidence in the Punjab Assembly then the situation would have been different.

Replying to a query regarding the PTI's comeback to the lower house, Khawaja Asif said the party returned to the assembly with disgrace in 2014 as well. If they return to the assembly, it is their right to speak on the floor of the house, he added.

He said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was waiting for the party to provide him with legal cover for his return home. All preparations for his homecoming are complete, he said, adding he would come back to the country as soon as lawyers confirmed legal preparations were complete.

Asif said that what happened to Nawaz Sharif was a tragedy as he was penalised for not taking a salary from his son. In comparison, he...

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