With everyone’s eye on Imran Khan’s fate as Pakistan Prime Minister, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri on Sunday dismissed a no-trust motion against him, terming it against Article 5 of the Constitution. He called the motion ‘illegal’ and adjourned the assembly. Suri chaired the crucial session after opposition parties filed a no-confidence motion against Speaker Asad Qaiser.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as well as members of opposition parties were supposed to vote on the motion, which could have decided Imran Khan’s future as the prime minister of Pakistan. Most predictions said that he would lose his power but it couldn’t be ascertained as the motion got called off.
Opposition lawmakers, who earlier appeared confident of the success of the no-trust move as they made their way to Parliament House, protested against the decision.
The Opposition parties need 172 members of the 342-member National Assembly to orchestrate the defeat of Khan and already they have claimed the support of 177 members, more than the needed strength to oust the prime minister.
The combined opposition filed the no-confidence motion on 8 March, setting a set of events leading to the day of voting and rise in the tension due to Khan’s insistence that he was being targeted as part of the “foreign conspiracy” with the collaboration of top opposition leaders.
Khan, 69, on Saturday issued a call to the followers of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, especially the youth, to hold “peaceful protests” on the day of voting to reject the conspiracy and assembly proceeding to topple the government.
Khan, who came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’, is at a critical juncture of his political career as he has lost majority after defection from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
Two of his allied parties MQM and BNP, also withdrew their support and joined the ranks of the rejuvenated Opposition.