pakistan
Thursday Mar 31 2022
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Web Desk

NA session adjourned minutes after MPs demand voting on no-trust motion

By ,
Web Desk

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri chairs a session of the lower house called for discussing the no-confidence motion, on March 31, 2022. — YouTube/PTVParliament
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri chairs a session of the lower house called for discussing the no-confidence motion, on March 31, 2022. — YouTube/PTVParliament

  • Deputy NA Speaker Suri adjourns session till Sunday 11:30am.
  • Suri adjourns after "non-serious" attitude of lawmakers.
  • Over 172 members from Opposition benches were in attendance.


ISLAMABAD: The crucial National Assembly session for the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan — which started after much delay — has been adjourned till Sunday 11:30am.

The NA Secretariat had issued the order of the day on Wednesday night, with a discussion on the no-trust move against the premier on the session's agenda.

NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri chaired the session which was attended by more than 172 members from the Opposition benches.

As the session kicked off, during the question and answer session, all the Opposition members demanded the deputy speaker allow voting on the no-confidence motion.

At this, Suri said due to the "non-serious" attitude of the Opposition lawmakers, the session is being adjourned till Sunday — almost 10 minutes after it had started — before the house could debate on the motion.

But despite the session's adjournment, around 150 Opposition lawmakers staged a sit-in in the lower house. However, they dispersed shortly afterwards.

PM Imran Khan has seemingly lost the majority in the lower house after PTI's allies — MQM-P, BAP, JWP, independent MNA from Balochistan Aslam Bhootani — decided to side with the Opposition.

The prime minister, after the allies started leaving the government's camp, has time and again repeated that he will not resign and "fight till the last ball".

PM Imran Khan, who waved a "threat letter" at a March 27 rally in Islamabad, has said that the memo warned the country of the consequences if the no-confidence motion does not pass.

Later, several federal ministers, including Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar, claimed that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) leadership are also involved in the "foreign conspiracy".

"The resolution shall not be voted upon before the expiry of three days, or later than seven days, from the day on which the resolution is moved in the Assembly," the rules of the NA read.

'Cowards'

Following the adjournment of the session, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government is comprised of "cowards" who just talk big outside the parliament.

"They never allow the parliamentary proceedings to move forward [...] during the question and answer session, every lawmaker asked when will the voting on no-confidence motion take place," she told Geo News.

The PML-N leader claimed the treasury benches were chanting and wanted to clash with the Opposition. "Don't they have any manners?" Aurangzeb asked.

On the boycott of the National Assembly's Security Committee meeting, the PML-N spokesperson said the Opposition was not informed about it. "We got to know about it through media, thus we are boycotting it."

PM offers ‘deal’ to Opposition via ‘important’ person

As the Opposition’s number game got stronger, PM Imran Khan had earlier offered to dissolve the assembly if the no-confidence motion against him is withdrawn, sources told Geo News.

According to the sources, an “important personality” has given a message of PM Imran Khan to the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.

This was revealed during the meeting of the Opposition leaders today ahead of the crucial National Assembly session for the debate on the no-confidence motion.

It was shared that the premier has asked for a “safe passage” amid a deepening political crisis.

Earlier, PM Imran Khan had called a National Security Committee (NSC)  committee where the "threat letter", which according to the government challenges Pakistan's sovereignty, was discussed. 

The premier is also scheduled to address the nation later tonight, as the political pressure on the premier mounts amid a no-trust motion against him floating in the National Assembly. 

Opposition tables no-trust motion in NA 

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif had tabled the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan on Monday — making him the third premier in Pakistan's history to face the move.

Read more: As expected, crucial NA session on no-trust motion adjourned till Mar 28

The Opposition had earlier 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.

"This House is of the view that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Imran Khan, has lost the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, therefore, he should cease to hold office," the resolution bearing signatures of 152 opposition members said.

Rule 37(4) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly says the leave to move the resolution shall be asked for after Question-Hour, if any, and before any other business entered in the order of the day.

Rule 37(5) says that the Speaker may, after considering the state of business, shall allow a day or two for discussion on the motion. As per Article 95 of the Constitution and Assembly’s rules, a resolution of no-confidence against the Prime Minister shall not be voted before the expiry of three days and not later than seven days from the day, it was moved.