New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has become the country’s first no-trust prime minister. Mr Khan, who remained steadfast “till the last ball,” was deposed long after midnight, following a day of high drama in the Pakistan parliament.
Here’s 10 key developments to this big story:
-The unified opposition, which included a rainbow of socialist, liberal, and profoundly religious groups, received 174 votes in the 342-member house, surpassing the required 172 votes to dismiss the Prime Minister.
-Just before the vote, members of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party stormed out of the parliament, leaving only the opposition to vote on the no-confidence resolution. Imran Khan was not in the assembly at the time of the voting, and he left the Prime Minister’s official house minutes before the result was announced.
-Shehbaz Sharif, who is expected to succeed Imran Khan, applauded the opposition’s daring, saying it is unusual in Pakistani politics. “Pakistan is now on the track of honesty and legality again…We are looking at a bright future where we won’t be vengeful and jail anyone who’s innocent,” he said.
-Opposition party PPP’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari congratulated the people of Pakistan, saying, “Democracy was under attack for the last three years. Welcome to purana (old) Pakistan”. This jibe was targeted at Imran Khan’s poll pitch of “Naya (new) Pakistan”. Democracy is a golden vengeance, he added.
-Local news sources depicted astonishing scenes of political turbulence in Islamabad as a no-confidence vote took place following a long and dramatic assembly session. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly resigned before of the court deadline for the vote in the midst of great drama. In preparation for a midnight contempt hearing, the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court were opened. PM Khan had fiercely said that he will not resign at the cabinet meeting.
-A prisoner van has arrived at the legislature amid reports that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker may be detained if the vote is not held by midnight, as the Supreme Court has ordered. Airport security was beefed up, and an alert was issued stating that no senior state functionary or government figure would be allowed to leave the country without a No Objection Certificate (NOC).
-Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that by postponing the vote on the no-confidence motion, PM Khan was attempting to provoke a constitutional crisis and seek military intervention in the country’s domestic affairs. He also went after the speaker, charging him of contempt of court and constitutional abrogation. Another opposition leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President, slammed the government in a series of tweets, even calling for the arrest of Imran Khan, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
–Separately, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf administration, led by Imran Khan, filed a review appeal in the Supreme Court, contesting the court’s decision to deem the deputy speaker’s decision to dismiss the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister as unconstitutional. The petition, on the other hand, has yet to be filed since the court personnel did not process it upon receipt because they close early during Ramazan.
-Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Pakistanis last night to take to the streets and peacefully protest against “imported government” which is an attack on the country’s sovereignty.
-Making outrageous accusations of a foreign plot, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has alleged that foreign forces are attempting to destabilise his administration and that Pakistan’s parliamentarians are being traded like sheep to achieve this. “We got to know that US diplomats were meeting our people. Then we got to know about the entire plan,” he said, adding that he is not at the liberty to publicly divulge all the information because of national security concerns. The US has categorically denied these charges, stating that they contain “absolutely no truth”.