No-confidence motion: Clean bowled! Imran Khan voted out of power
ISLAMABAD:– The vote on no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in line with Supreme Court’s verdict has begun as PML-N s Ayaz Sadiq is chairing the session.
“174 members have recorded their votes in favour of the resolution, consequently the resolution for the vote on no-confidence against Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, has been passed by a majority,” Ayaz Sadiq announced after the process of voting was completed.
No prime mister has ever served a full term in Pakistan, but Khan is the first to lose office through a vote of no confidence.
It was not immediately clear when the assembly will choose a new premier but, opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif was almost certain to be picked to lead the nuclear-armed nation of 220 million people after weeks of high political drama.
Khan, 69, tried everything he could to stay in power — including dissolving parliament and calling a fresh election — but the Supreme Court deemed all his actions illegal last week, and ordered the assembly to reconvene and vote.
Earlier, Asad Qaiser had stepped down from post of National Assembly speaker and PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq conducted the voting on no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“I have decided to resign as speaker of the National Assembly,” said Asad Qaiser while chairing the lower house of the parliament.
Qaiser said that he had received “important documents” from the cabinet, which he invited the leader of the opposition and the Chief Justice of Pakistan to see.
“In line with our laws and the need to stand for our country, I have decided that I can t remain on the position of speaker and thereby resign,” he said. “Because this is a national duty and it is the Supreme Court s decision, I will ask the panel chairman Ayaz Sadiq to run the session,” Qaiser said.
NA Speaker Asad Qaiser chaired the session which began at 10:30am sharp, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directives, and with the recitation of the Holy Quran. It was followed by the national anthem and Fatiha.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived in the Parliament House and security outside his chamber has also been beefed up. Meanwhile, the PM has also called senior journalists to the Prime Minister’s Residence.
At the beginning of Shehbaz’s speech, several of the PTI MNAs started interrupting his speech by chanting slogans.
Shehbaz told the speaker to conduct the session as per the order of the Supreme Court and added that today, the Opposition will oust the “selected” prime minister by adopting a lawful and constitutional procedure.
He also thanked the opposition leadership for struggling against the erroneous ruling, the fruits of which the country was seeing.
Opposition leader asked the Speaker to conduct proceedings in accordance with the SC’s directives.
Shehbaz told the speaker to let bygones be bygones and to stand for the law and the Constitution. He urged the speaker to play his role and to have his name “written in history in golden words”.
“You must cash in on this moment with conviction and with your heart and your mind. Don’t go on the dictation of the selected prime minister,” he urged Qaiser, adding that the apex court’s directives were clear.
Responding to Shehbaz’s earnest plea, Qaiser assured the opposition leader that he would conduct proceedings according to the law and the Constitution. “[But] the important thing is that there has been talk of an international conspiracy. This should also be discussed,” he said.
This prompted Shehbaz to tell the speaker that he would be violating the court’s directives if he would go down that road. He also read out the court’s directives regarding the convening of the session.
“Under the court’s directives, you are bound to take up this agenda item and no other item. That is the intent of the order and you cannot deviate from it,” he said, calling on the speaker to hold voting on the motion forthwith.
“The SC’s orders will be followed in true letter and spirit,” Qaiser replied, giving the floor to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The foreign minister began by acknowledging that the opposition had the right to table a no-trust motion against the prime minister, but said that defending it was his obligation. “We intend to fight it in constitutional, political and democratic manner,” he asserted.
Talking about violations of constitution, he said that it was obligatory “on us to respect the Constitution”.
“Pakistan’s history is full of violations of constitution,” he said, adding that the doctrine of necessity should have been buried. “I am happy that Pakistan’s democracy has evolved and that we all are not ready to take its support,” he added.
“Today is Saturday and the session has started at 10:30am. The court said the session will not be prorogued unless the process of Article 95 and rule 37 is concluded,” he said.
However, it is important to present the context under which the court directed to summon the session again. He said that the clock was turned back and the apex court unanimously dismissed the April 3 ruling.
The minister said that the prime minister went to the people by dissolving the assembly, adding that the opposition had been calling for early polls for close to four years.
He reiterated that the government had accepted the court’s decision but questioned why the opposition parties went to the court and why the SC took suo motu notice. “The ruling the deputy speaker gave when he was chairing the session and he did not reject the constitutional process. He said a new situation had surfaced and that it should be probed in its light.”
Qureshi added that the National Security Committee (NSC), one of the country’s top forums, had seen the cable and concluded that it was a sensitive matter.
“The NSC took two decisions. First, they acknowledged there were interference in Pakistan’s internal matters and that a demarche must be issued,” he said, adding that the Foreign Office followed these directives.
“The second was to immediately summon the Parliamentary committee on National Security and for the matter to be presented before elected representatives so that they can get to the bottom of things.”
Bilawal, while addressing the House, told Amjad Khan Niazi he was violating the Constitution and the court’s order. “You cannot take up anything else except for what is on the agenda. Not only you, the speaker also did the same,” he told him, demanding that voting is held on the no-confidence motion.
At this, Niazi told the PPP chairman that the court can’t intervene in parliamentary matters.
Bilawal replied by saying that Niazi would be disqualified for violating the law, adding that this was not the first time the court had set aside the speaker’s ruling.
Turning his guns on PM Imran, Bilawal said that the premier was breaking the law on his way out of office. “If you want to be involved in it, then it’s your choice. But I had warned the prime minister to stay away from the man speaking before me,” he said, referring to the foreign minister.
The PPP chairman alleged that FM Qureshi was responsible for the premier’s troubles, again calling for a vote to be held on the no-confidence motion. “If you don’t come to today’s agenda, then you should know that the opposition will not leave […] we will snatch our constitutional rights from you.”
He said that the government had lost its majority in the assembly. “We can debate on the foreign conspiracy for 100 days but first conduct voting.”
Speaking in the National Assembly on a point of order, Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said about 5.5 million jobs had been created, due to prudent policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, during the last three years.
He said, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz during five years government had created about 5.7 jobs.
Sharing the achievements of his government on economic front, he said, that Pakistan achieved highest exports. He said the country had achieved over 5 percent growth rate during last two years, which was the highest in the last 15 years.
Criticizing the opposition parties for becoming part of a conspiracy being hitched by foreign powers against the elected government of PTI, he said people of Pakistan would never support the elements working against the interest of the country.
He said the government had decided to share contents of the threatening letter with the members of the Parliament, keeping in view the supremacy of the Parliament.
He regretted that leadership of the opposition had refused to attend the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security convened by the Speaker National Assembly. The minister once again invited the opposition parties for an in-camera briefing on the “Threat Letter” to the parliament.
He said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had chosen to live with dignity and pride and not to compromise on the sovereignty of the country.
He asked opposition to work for strengthening and supremacy of the Parliament.
On the occasion, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said that except one person, they can talk to friends for the betterment of Pakistan.
The former president said that today is the voting day on the no-confidence motion and now there is no time for anything else but vote, vote and vote and nothing but the vote.
Asif Zardari said that where should I start the stories, from the General Umar in the East Pakistan or the Engro. But I will not do it. Imran Khan said that Asif Zardari is on the target of his gun. Imran is a hunter, a cricketer and also running the country. The friends on the treasury benches are talking about export figures. These figures of export I had left. The economy is going down. The State Bank raised the interest rates just two days ago. Just after the Supreme Court decision, the rupee got stronger and the stock market had strengthened.
The PPP co-chairman said that the PPP is the only party which has a political university and several members on the treasury benches have passed out from that university. They will understand soon and will come back to the PPP.
“I ask very humbly and with humility that you please start the voting process. I do not want to approach the court against you for violation its order. We talk about the betterment of the country so please conduct the voting so that we can progress further and Pakistan can also progress.”
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz Sharif slammed the government in a series of tweets, even calling for the arrest of Imran Khan, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
PMO Making Arrangements
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office is making arrangements for the premier after he is ousted from power. Suitable security for the Ex-PM, details of protocol including checking security and cars will be issued by the government or internal ministry, the letter written by PMO officials said.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Atta Bandial has ordered staff to open court at midnight if the no-trust vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan is not held in the National Assembly, according to sources.
The doors of the top court has been opened and Chief Justice of Pakistan has also reached court.
Cabinet approves sharing threat letter with Senate chairman, CJP
The federal cabinet approved the threatening letter to be shared with the chairman senate, chief justice.
A special meeting of the Federal Cabinet was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting was held at the Prime Minister s House in which Pervaiz Khattak, Shireen Maazari, Murad Saeed, Shafqat Mahmood, Shaukat Tareen and others participated.
According to sources, the federal cabinet has approved to share the threatening letter with the Speaker National Assembly, Chairman Senate and Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan during a meeting with senior journalists said that he will not give up in any case and will fight till the last ball.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the country will not allow the enemies to succeed in any way. He said that he has apprised President Arif Alvi, Chief Justice Omar Ata Bandial and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjarani about the threatening letter.
Imran Khan said that global conspiracy for regime change would not succeed under any circumstances, adding that assembly proceedings will not be hampered in any way.
He went on to say that the threatening letter will also be presented to the Chief Justice, adding that he is alone but will fight for the nation.
Imran Khan again alleged that the opposition was getting external help to change the regime in the country. “I will go to public meetings every week,” he said and added the people are not in favor of a change of government in the country.
Opposition has submitted the no-confidence motion against the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri.
The no-trust motion was submitted by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader and opposition member Murtaza javed Abbasi.
On April 3, NA deputy speaker Qasim Suri had rejected no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan declaring it against Article-5 of the constitution.
Full text of Supreme Court verdict on NA Deputy Speaker’s ruling
Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the national assembly had been illegally dissolved, and ordered parliament to reconvene to hold a no-confidence vote that will likely see Prime Minister Imran Khan booted from office.
Khan asked the president to dissolve the assembly after the deputy speaker refused to allow a no-confidence vote against him on Sunday, but the Supreme Court said the action was illegal.
“All actions taken are of no legal effect and quashed,” the court ruling said. “The national assembly continues to remain in session.”
The decision was met with jubilation by some in the capital, with cars loaded with opposition supporters racing through the streets and sounding their horns.