Friday Mar 25, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The crucial National Assembly session to deliberate on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan was adjourned as expected till Monday, March 28.
The session was wrapped up almost immediately after it started with the recitation of Holy Quran with National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri offered Fateha for PTI’s deceased MNA from Hangu, Khayal Zaman, others who lost their lives during Peshawar and Sibi terror attacks as per Qaiser's direction.
Later, Qaiser adjourned the hearing till 4pm on Monday.
“Since this is the tradition of this house, that whenever an respectable member [of the assembly] passes away, the [NA] session is adjourned till the next [working] day in their honour,” Qaiser said.
He said that the tradition has been followed nine times in the 12th assembly, four times in the 13th assembly, six times in the 14th assembly and five times in the current assembly.
NA Speaker Asad Qaiser had convened the session last Sunday.
The NA secretariat had issued a 15-point order of the day for today Thursday night, with the no-trust motion against PM Imran Khan included on the agenda for the crucial session, alongside other affairs.
The Opposition, confident of having the required numbers for the success of the no-confidence motion against the prime minister, had submitted the requisition along with notice of the no-confidence resolution, in the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8. The notice of no-confidence resolution against PM Imran Khan was signed by 152 opposition members.
Before the start of the session, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari told the reporters that today is the day of their victory.
“Today, after three years of hard work, the no-confidence motion has been included in the agenda — Orders of the Day — for the NA session,” he said, adding that going forward, people of Pakistan will see victory while “selected” [government] will face defeat.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said that a strategy will be devised today during the session.
Replying to a journalist's question regarding matters being settled through the backdoor, Shahbaz questioned that who said “matters are being settled like this?”
Meanwhile, former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said: “InshaAllah everything will get better” as this is an important turning point of the country’s politics.
On March 23, after accusations of being “biased” and a “party to PM Imran Khan” ahead of the voting on the no-confidence motion against the premier, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser had clarified that he would act according to the law and would run the assembly's proceedings as per Article 95 of the Constitution.
Taking to Twitter, Qaiser had written: “I, as the custodian of the National Assembly of Pakistan, will fulfil my constitutional obligations and will proceed in accordance with Article 95 of the Constitution and rule 37 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007.”
On March 14, Qaiser had said he would follow the law during the voting on the no-confidence motion after the Opposition took strong exception to his remarks about the possibility of the failure of the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan.
Article 95 says that a resolution of no-confidence shall not be voted upon before the expiration of three days and not later than seven days, from the day the resolution is moved in the NA. It says that if the resolution is passed by a majority of the total membership of the House, the prime minister shall cease to hold the office.
As per Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the NA, the Assembly shall not be prorogued unless the resolution of no-confidence is disposed of.
Rule 37 says the Assembly shall not be prorogued unless the motion is disposed of, or leave if the leave is granted, the resolution has been voted upon.
The order of the day also contained calling attention notices and presentation of reports of standing committees. The sources said that the Speaker's office has also issued directives that no private security guard or guests will be allowed within the premises of the Parliament House.
The opposition parties are confident they have already "managed" much more than the magic number of 172 to send Prime Minister Imran Khan packing.
However, PM Imran Khan claims he has a "surprise" up his sleeve and he will show it only in the upcoming "historic" rally on Sunday, prior to the vote of no-confidence in the NA.
The premier discussed the presidential reference, the NA session and the March 27 public gathering and related matters with his political committee and legal team on Thursday, The News reported.
It was learnt that the PTI political committee suggested that today's NA session should be immediately adjourned for an indefinite period after fateha for the departed soul of PTI MNA Khayal Zaman, who died in February.
Some members even advised that the move for the tabling of the no-trust motion should not be allowed on the first day of the session and the voting on the motion should also be delayed at least for four-six weeks.
PM Imran Khan was told that the indecision of the allies could also be seen as a possibility to remain part of the government and the estranged members still had full two days to respond to the notices served to them.
During the briefing about Thursday's hearing of the presidential reference seeking interpretation on Article 63(A) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, PM Imran Khan reiterated his resolve that "we would fight till the end and there would be no compromise on principles and without using money, the no-trust motion would be defeated.”
Referring to the upcoming March 27 public meeting of PTI, the premier emphasised that the people of Pakistan would respond to his call and show they stand with him and not with the opposition, which was evil for the country.
“They are totally mistaken that I will succumb to pressure and bow out. Masses will show with whom they are; they can’t support the forces of status quo and corruption,” he added.
PM Imran Khan said he would prevail over the opposition’s no-confidence move and definitely would come out of the crisis successfully.
“Let me predict in clear terms that we will succeed in the no-confidence motion because the entire party and our workers are standing with us like a rock and even the debate raging on the menace of corruption and horse-trading has become a topic of every household.
“Opposition parties have shown all their cards, but I have still kept mine to my chest and will show on that day of my historic address (March 27),” PM Imran Khan said.