SRINAGAR: Instead of seeking a vote on the united Pakistani opposition’s no-confidence motion, Qasim Khan Suri, the Deputy Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly, dismissed the no-trust move against Imran Khan.
Suri’s decision came within minutes after Khan’s Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry made a brief speech suggesting loyalty to the state was the basic duty of every citizen under Article 5(1). This, he said, while reiterating the story that has been dominating Pakistan politics for the last many days now – the foreign conspiracy.
“On March 7, our official ambassador was invited to a meeting attended by the representatives of other countries. The meeting was told that a motion against PM Imran was being presented,” Chowdhary was quoted by Pakistani newspaper, The Dawn saying, noting that this occurred a day before the opposition formally filed the no-trust move. “We were told that relations with Pakistan were dependent on the success of the no-confidence motion. We were told that if the motion fails, then Pakistan’s path would be very difficult. This is an operation for a regime change by a foreign government.”
The minister questioned how this could be allowed and called on the deputy speaker to decide the constitutionality of the no-trust move.
“No foreign power shall be allowed to topple an elected government through a conspiracy,” Suri, followed up, adding that the points raised by the minister were “valid”. He dismissed the motion, ruling that it was “contradictory” to the law, the Constitution and the rules.
Suri had to chair the decision as the opposition had filed a no-confidence motion against Speaker Asad Qaiser.
Had the no-confidence motion been put to vote, reports suggest, Imran Khan would have lost. It requires 172 votes in the 342-member national assembly to rule Pakistan and the opposition was confident of having 174. In reaction to the dismissal of the motion, the Pakistan opposition is protesting within the Pakistan parliament. They have said they will be moving against Khan in the Supreme Court.
After the dismissal of the motion, Khan said he has advised President Arif Alvi to “dissolve assemblies”. Under the Pakistan constitution, the president can dissolve the assembly within 48 hours after getting advice from the prime minister and the national assembly.
“Prepare for elections. No corrupt forces will decide what the future of the country will be. When the assemblies will be dissolved, the procedure for the next elections and the caretaker government will begin,” Khan was quoted saying by the Dawn. Ideally, the new election should be held within 90 days.
Apart from the Pakistan parliament, there is a similar move in place to change the leadership of the Punjab province where the chief minister has resigned. It was also supposed to have a vote on a motion that will elect the new leader but a ruckus prevented it from happening. Now the new leader will be elected on April 6.