New Delhi: The Pakistan National Assembly convened Sunday to take up the no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan as mandated by the country’s Supreme Court two days ago.
The apex court had ruled Thursday that it was unconstitutional of Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri to disallow a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan last weekend.
The top court ordered National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to summon a session on Saturday to allow the vote of no-confidence against Khan.
The apex court also said voting should be held on Saturday and a House leader chosen in the same session if the prime minister got the boot.
Leader of the Opposition and PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif spoke early and said they would oust the selected Prime Minister by adopting lawful and constitutional means.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the PTI was disappointed by the Supreme Court’s verdict but would abide by it. “To honour the Constitution is the responsibility of all Pakistanis,” Qureshi said.
Speaker Qaiser also allowed a discussion on the “international conspiracy” hatched against Imran Khan’s PTI government.
The Pakistan prime minister has accused the United States of trying to unseat him, in complicity with Pakistan’s main Opposition.
In an address to the nation Friday evening, Khan said he would not tolerate a “foreign government” in the country and would turn to the people if need be.
“We are not a nation that can be used like tissue paper,” he said, daring the Opposition to face him in elections.
After the no-confidence motion was dismissed last week, President Arif Alvi had dissolved the National Assembly and called for fresh elections, prompting the Opposition to move court.
Khan also said Friday that the Supreme Court could have at least initiated a probe on the “foreign conspiracy” matter.
“I respect the Supreme Court and the judiciary, but the apex court should have looked at the threat letter before issuing the verdict,” he said.
Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is in a precarious position as two key allies and several disgruntled PTI lawmakers have made it clear that they will vote against him. The overwhelming grouse against Khan is the deepening economic crisis in the country.