In a historic first for Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan was removed from office via a no-confidence resolution after the National Assembly debated the topic for more than 12 hours as the country’s political situation deteriorated.
After speaker Asad Qasier resigned, the session was led by Ayaz Sadiq, a member of the panel of chairs.
“174 members voted in favour of the resolution, and as a result, the resolution for the vote of no-confidence against Mr Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been carried by a majority,” Ayaz Sadiq declared after the voting process was concluded.
Speaking at the event, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif said that the country was entering a new era and thanked the united Opposition leaders for their efforts in unifying the parties against the government.
“We can’t thank Allah enough for letting us see this new day,”Shahbaz Sharif
He praised the Opposition for their patience and specifically thanked former President Asif Zardari, JUI-F chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and numerous other party leaders for their assistance.
When Qasier announced his resignation, the majority of Treasury members rose up and left the House, giving the Opposition in the National Assembly a decisive majority on the motion even before a vote was taken.
Despite the PTI government’s frantic efforts to delay voting on Imran Khan’s no-confidence motion, the historic session of the National Assembly to decide his destiny began on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
The scenario occurred after the session was summoned at 10:30 a.m. — in accordance with the Supreme Court’s order — and saw at least four breaks with the government seeking a way out of the dilemma, but the Opposition was able to get its way in the end.
Many people speculated that Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa would be removed, but Imran Khan denied the rumours and nothing of the type happened.
Imran Khan was elected on August 18, 2018, and his tenure runs through April 10, 2022. He was in office for 3 years, 7 months, and 23 days.
Two prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Shaukat Aziz, faced no-confidence motions, but both beat them and remained in office, making Imran Khan the first premier to be voted out – on Constitution Day in Pakistan (April 10).
After the session begins, the Supreme Court judges return home
The larger bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court has returned home after the National Assembly session to vote out Imran Khan as prime minister began.
The case on the ruling of NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri was due to be heard by the top court’s five-member bigger bench, which was led by Chief Justice Bandial and included Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Aijazul Ahsan, Justice Mazhar Alam, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel.
As the government failed to begin voting on the no-confidence motion, the CJP ordered the highest court to remain open after hours. But, just before 12 a.m., Asad Qaiser resigned as NA speaker and turned over control of the proceedings to MNA Ayaz Sadiq.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) late Saturday night petitioned the Supreme Court for the enforcement of its April 7 ruling.
“As a result of the abovementioned order of this August Court, the National Assembly has been called to assemble on April 9, 2022.” However, on that date, the Speaker of the National Assembly, and in his absence, Mr Amjad Ali Khan (Chairperson), failed to carry out the ruling of this August Court in Suo Moto Case No. 01 of 2022. Specifically, instead of voting on the move for a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister, the Speaker and Chairperson had a discussion on the issue. “It is worth noting that a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister was on the agenda of the National Assembly on March 31, 2022, as represented by the Order of the Day for that day,” read the petition.
The SCBA argued in its petition that by not holding the vote on the no-confidence motion, the “speaker, deputy speaker, and chairpersons from the PTI were “determined to frustrate” the top court’s ruling.
The SCBA has requested that the court “restrain the speaker, deputy speaker, and chairpersons/chairwoman, namely, Amjad Ali Khan, Munaza Hassan, and Imran Khattak, from chairing the meeting and/or acting as the speaker in the current Session being held to implement” the court’s orders on the no-confidence motion.
The lawyer’s group has also petitioned the Supreme Court to order the secretary of the National Assembly to convene a session of Parliament headed by MNAs who are not members of the PTI.
It has also asked the court to “restrain the prime minister or the Federal Government from making any order” that would be in violation of the court’s April 7 judgement.
“Restrain the President of Pakistan from acting in accordance with any advice offered by the Prime Minister or the Cabinet until the order of this August Court dated 07-04-2022 is completely implemented and complied with,” the petition read. It has also asked the court to “command all state authorities” to assist in carrying out the injunction.
“Restrain all State Functionaries from taking any extra-constitutional measures that are contrary to the principles laid out in this Court’s judgement in the case of Sindh High Court Bar Association vs. Federation of Pakistan etc., reported as PLD 2009 SC 879; Any other order that this August Court deems appropriate, under the circumstances,” the plea concludes.
On April 3, NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri dismissed the no-confidence resolution, and on the advice of the premier, President Arif Alvi dissolved the lower house of parliament – essentially losing the majority in the NA.
Nonetheless, despite the government’s efforts to reject the no-confidence motion against the prime minister, the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the issue and overturned all of the rulings.
On April 7, the Supreme Court of Pakistan reinstated the National Legislature after declaring the government’s move to dissolve the assembly and Suri’s judgement to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court had directed Speaker Qasier to convene the session on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to enable for a vote on the no-confidence motion against the premier.