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Pakistan: Heavy security outside National Assembly ahead of trust vote

The no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led government is set to take place on Saturday morning



Representational image
Representational image

By ANI

Published: Sat 9 Apr 2022, 10:05 AM

Last updated: Sat 9 Apr 2022, 11:01 AM

Heavy security is deployed outside the Pakistan National Assembly in Islamabad ahead of the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government, which is slated to be taken up in the House shortly.

Members of Pakistan’s National Assembly (MNAs) have begun arriving at Parliament House ahead of the no-trust vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government in line with the deadline set by the Supreme Court.

Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz, and other MNAs have started arriving at the National Assembly, reported Geo News.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday ordered the incumbent government to face the no-confidence motion on Saturday. The court had turned down the ruling of the Deputy Speaker to reject the no-confidence motion on the grounds of the move being “unconstitutional” and brought as part of a “foreign conspiracy”.

The top court’s directives came after Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial took suo motu cognisance of Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri’s ruling and the subsequent dissolution of the National Assembly, declaring all the decisions unconstitutional.

As per the order of the Supreme Court, voting is to be held at all costs today, and in case the PM is voted out, the election of a new Leader of the House will be held during the same session. The voting on the no-confidence motion is at the fourth position in the six-point agenda issued for today.

Speaker Asad Qaiser can not take up agendas other than voting on the motion, and if he did not do so, he would have to face contempt of court proceedings, reported Geo News.

It is pertinent to mention that the Opposition has submitted the no-confidence motions against the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. However, Asad Qaiser can chair today’s session according to the rules.

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The National Assembly officials told Geo News that according to the SC larger bench’s written order, the NA Speaker has been made duty-bound to proceed with the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government as per the April 3 agenda of the House.

The NA officials said that the voting on the no-trust motion could take place within seven days of its submission and last Sunday (April 3) was the last day of voting. The Supreme Court’s larger bench ordered the Speaker to revive the April 3 agenda of the National Assembly and conduct voting on the no-confidence motion, they added. Therefore, April 9 will be considered the last day of voting on the no-confidence motion, and it is essential to move with the set agenda, reported Geo News.

NA officials said if the no-trust motion against Khan succeeds, the session will be prorogued till Sunday for the election of the new Leader of the House and the secretariat would begin with the necessary documentation.

The secretariat has prepared forms for the nomination of the new leader, which will be issued as soon as the session is prorogued, scrutiny of the nomination forms will be completed by night, and the list of the candidates for PM’s slot will be issued. The National Assembly will elect a new Prime Minister on Sunday.

Asked if the government wants to hold a debate on the issue of the letter shown by Khan at his rally on March 27, alleging foreign conspiracy to topple his government, the NA official said it was impossible. The government will have to submit a separate resolution in the secretariat for the debate on the letter and briefing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the House and will have to seek its permission to convert it into a standing committee. The Opposition enjoys its majority in the House, so it can reject this resolution, reported Geo News.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has prepared its strategy to scuttle the proceedings and delay the voting by asking its MPs to give lengthy speeches on the ‘foreign conspiracy”, reported Geo News.

The same was endorsed by Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chauhdry.

Talking to Geo News, he said that the foreign secretary is going to brief the House on the “threat letter”, so the voting on no-confidence may not happen and maybe deferred till next week.


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