Motion of no confidence: the session of the National Assembly was announced until Sunday after the protest of the opposition

No-trust motion NA session adjourned till Sunday

A crucial session of the National Assembly to discuss the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, which resumed after a three-day break on Thursday, was adjourned minutes after it began.

Deputy Speaker Kasim Suri, who was presiding over the session, adjourned the session until 11:30 am on Sunday.

At the start of the session, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Babar Awan moved a motion to adjourn the session so that the assembly hall could be used for a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, which was scheduled to take place at 6:00 p.m.

The proposal was rejected after a vote.

Afterwards, the vice-speaker opened the floor for questions. However, opposition MNAs continued to insist that the Speaker call for a no-confidence vote today amid chants of “Go Imran Go”.

Calling the opposition’s position “frivolous”, Suri adjourned the session until Sunday, when a no-confidence vote is expected.

He also informed that the meeting of the parliamentary committee will be held in room No. 2.

A resolution against the embattled prime minister was introduced by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on March 28 and was approved for discussion the same day.

According to the 24-point agenda released ahead of the session, the no-confidence debate in the Prime Minister was the fourth in order.

Yesterday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to present a “secret letter” – allegedly containing details of a “foreign plot” to topple his government – during a closed session of the National Assembly or a joint session of Parliament. however, no date was given when such a session would be convened.

The prime minister hopes that, having learned about the alleged content of the letter, the dissidents of his party, as well as dissatisfied allies, will change their mind to vote for the resolution of no confidence.

Yesterday, the prime minister shared the letter with cabinet members at a hastily convened meeting in which her two main allies, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), were not present despite being invited.

The prime minister also called a group of television anchors and informed them that “the language of the letter was threatening and arrogant” and that Pakistan would face dire consequences if the no-confidence motion failed.

The deputy speaker broke the law: Shehbaz

Later, at a media briefing outside the National Assembly, opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif accused the deputy speaker of violating the Constitution.

“During these four days, the speaker has the right to vote whenever he wants. But the speeches should have been made today,” he said.

“During question hour, when everyone in the opposition demanded an immediate no-confidence vote, the deputy speaker ran away. Suri broke the law today,” Shehbaz said.

PNP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that despite what happened in parliament, the opposition had “won” today.

“Today we created 175 members in the chamber,” he shared, adding that the prime minister has lost his majority and cannot run away now.

“You [Imran Khan] don’t have any safe passage, back door or ability to save face right now. Yes, there is an honorable way… Resign and show some respect for democracy,” he told the prime minister.

“You must give Shehbaz Sharif a chance during the no-confidence vote or come to Parliament and end the numbers game,” the PPP leader added.

Meeting of the parliamentary committee at 18:00
After the Prime Minister’s decision to show the letter to parliamentarians, the head of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Thursday called a meeting of the parliamentary committee on national security at 18:00.

The statement of the Secretariat of the National Assembly said that the meeting will be presided over by the Speaker, as well as invited leaders of all parliamentary parties.

“The briefing on the secret letter will be held at the meeting of the National Security Committee,” the message reads.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, MQM-P Organizer Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui — all members of the committee — were invited to the meeting. .

Among the special invitees were Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, National Security Advisor Moid Yousuf, BAP Senator Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, MNA Mahdushim Hussain MNA Amer Ali Khan Magsi.

Later in the day, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said the government would “put all the dots in front of you so that no one blames us tomorrow.”

“The opposition should not run away now,” he said during a media address in Islamabad.

Habib declined to confirm whether Prime Minister Imran would attend the meeting, but said the foreign minister, who was in China for a three-day session on Afghanistan, would return today.

“He [Qureshi] will reveal the details at the meeting,” the minister added.

Sherry is calling for a vote today

Meanwhile, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman on Thursday said the NA Speaker had no “constitutional” or “moral” reason to delay the vote on the no-confidence motion and demanded that it be held today.

In a series of tweets, she said that Imran Khan’s “artificial” majority has now turned into a minority. “If the vote of no confidence is passed, today will be the last day of Imran Khan’s elected government. What kind of help is Imran Khan waiting for?”

Earlier this week, Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said a vote of no confidence would be held on April 3.

In her tweets today, Rehman claimed that the government’s “sinking ship” was using an alleged “secret letter” to escape.

“After MQM, BAP, Jamhuri Watan Party and Independents joined the opposition alliance, Imran Khan should not have served as Prime Minister for a single day,” she tweeted, adding that for the Prime Minister the minister should resign.

The opposition has an advantage

A day earlier, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), which was previously a key ally of the PTI-led coalition government, officially announced that it was joining the ranks of the opposition.

With the ouster of the seven-member MQM-P, opposition parties have managed to cross the magic number of 172 — the minimum required to form a government at the Center — and now enjoy the support of 177 MPs even in the National Assembly. Without nearly a dozen dissidents of the ruling PTI, who have already publicly announced their refusal to support the prime minister.

“In the previous assembly, we had 26 seats. According to the plan, they were reduced to seven. But now we have proved that neither the government can be formed nor dismissed without these seven seats,” MQM-P organizer Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said while formally announcing the party’s decision, which he said was approved by the party’s Rabita committee.

Delay in solving tables

On March 8, a delegation of high-ranking opposition deputies submitted a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister to the Secretariat of the National Assembly.

According to the rules and procedures of the assembly, from the date of introduction of the resolution, it “will be voted on not earlier than three days or later than seven days.”

A motion of no confidence in the prime minister was expected to be tabled on March 25, but the meeting was postponed after the Speaker of the National Assembly adjourned the meeting within minutes and ignored opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, who wanted to speak.

He did not allow the no-confidence motion to be moved by the opposition after offering fateha for the deceased PTI MNA from Hangu, Khayal Zaman, as per parliamentary tradition. Kaiser said at the time that according to tradition, the agenda was moved to the next day when a member of the lower house died.

The opposition later lashed out at the speaker for not giving the floor to Shehbaz, saying it was also a parliamentary tradition that the leader of the opposition was always given the floor when he rose to speak.

No prime minister in the country’s history has served a full term, and Prime Minister Imran faces the biggest challenge to his rule since his election in 2018, with opponents accusing him of economic mismanagement and foreign policy infidelity.

Last year in March, the Prime Minister voluntarily sought a vote of confidence after failing in the Senate elections. In a show of strength, he won 178 votes — six more than needed — to win the National Assembly’s vote of confidence.

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