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  • No-trust motion: Imran Khan becomes first prime minister to be voted out of power

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    In a historic first, Prime Minister Imran Khan has lost the vote of no confidence in the lower house of the Parliament.

    Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has announced the results after completing vote the count.

    Earlier, PML-N leader Maryam Aurangzeb had announced that total 174 votes were casted in support of the motion.  

    The historic session of the National Assembly to decide PM Imran's fate has begun voting on the no-confidence motion.

    The session was adjourned just before 12am by Ayaz Sadiq. Voting on the motion of no-confidence is on today's National Assembly session's agenda.

    The historic session of the National Assembly to decide PM Imran's fate was earlier resumed after prolonged delay.   

    Despite the PTI government’s hectic efforts to avoid voting on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, the historic session of the National Assembly to decide his fate began on Saturday at 10:30 am.

    Shortly afterwards, however, Speaker Asad Qaiser decided to adjourn the session. The delayed session resumed at 2:30pm and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi continued his speech.

    The speaker had delayed the session until 12:30pm, but the break had been prolonged and the voting, per sources, is now expected to take place after 8pm, i.e. post iftaar.

    Sources said that the session has been deliberately delayed and the PTI ministers will try to make their speeches lengthier.

    Senior anchorperson Hamid Mir said that Qureshi, who was speaking when the session was interrupted, will continue his address after the break, adding that the minister has been instructed by the prime minister to speak for at least three hours.

    At the same time, the Opposition held a consultative meeting in the Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif's chamber to discuss a counter-strategy for the government's plan to prolong the session so that voting could not take place today.

    Later, however, the government and the Opposition reached a consensus regarding maintaining order in the house and allowing the speeches to take place uninterrupted.

    Mir said a discussion has been held between delegations of the Opposition and the government in Asad Qaiser’s chamber.

    “Both sides have agreed to cooperate, and none of them will interfere during the speeches from both sides,” he said, adding that Shah Mahmood Qureshi has given a guarantee that voting will be held today after 8pm.

    While from the Opposition’s side Maulana Asad Mahmood has assured the members of the treasury benches that they will not interrupt speeches delivered from the government’s side; however, he warned that if the MNAs from the treasury benches create a ruckus, the joint Opposition leaders will also react accordingly.

    Mir clarified that this “unofficial verbal agreement” took place in Asad Qaiser’s chamber and Shah Mahmood Qureshi was the guarantor.

    Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed that the Opposition had not accepted any of the conditions put forward by the government, and reiterated that the voting on the no-confidence motion must take place today.

    'Opposition will oust selected PM today': Shahbaz

    At the beginning of the session, the speaker allowed Shahbaz to begin his speech. But as soon as he started speaking, several of the 151 PTI MNAs present in the house started interrupting him by chanting slogans.

    Shahbaz told the speaker to conduct the session as per the order of the Supreme Court and added that today, the Opposition will oust the "selected" prime minister by adopting a lawful and constitutional procedure.

    At this, the speaker interjected a remark and said that the house should hold a discussion about the "foreign conspiracy" hatched against the PTI government.

    Continuing his address, Shahbaz said that April 7 was the “brightest day” in the history of Pakistan when the Supreme Court of Pakistan acknowledged the “unconstitutional act” of the NA speaker, deputy speaker and prime minister and declared it “null and void”.

    “The apex court did not take the support of the doctrine of necessity but instead buried it forever; making Pakistan’s future brightest,” he said, adding that the entire nation is thankful.

    He urged the NA speaker to conduct proceedings in accordance with the SC's directives, warning him that he [Asad Qaiser] will violate the constitution if he takes up any other agenda, including the foreign conspiracy”.

    The Opposition leader read the following para from the written verdict of the SC order:

    "Under the court's directives, you are bound to take up this agenda item and no other item. That is the intent of the order and you cannot deviate from it," he.

    Amid protest from the Opposition benches, Shahbaz called on the speaker to hold voting on the motion forthwith.

    Replying to his demand and constant reminder of the apex court’s verdict, the speaker said: "The SC's orders will be followed in true letter and spirit.”

    'Disappointed with SC's decision, but we will abide by it': Qureshi

    Speaking during the session, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi accepted that according to the Constitution, it is the right of the Opposition to submit a no-confidence motion, while it is the government’s responsibility to defend itself from the motion.

    Citing PM Imran Khan’s April 8 address to the nation, he said that to honour the Constitution is the responsibility of all Pakistani and “just like the premier said, although we are disappointed with Supreme Court’s judgment, we still abide by the verdict.”

    Qureshi mentioned that "unfortunately, the history of Pakistani is full of cases regarding constitutional violations". He highlighted that on October 12, 1999, the Constitution was blatantly violated and when the case was presented at the Supreme Court, decisions taken were against the law.

    Addressing the speaker, Qureshi said that being the vice-chairman of the PTI, he wants to present the opinion of PM Imran Khan.

    He said that according to the judgment of the Supreme Court, “today is April 3”, however, he said that he does not want to get into the details of what happened last Sunday and how "doors of all offices were opened on a weekend."

    The foreign minister reiterated that the Opposition had been demanding fresh elections for the last four years; and when PM Imran Khan suggested that people should decide the country's fate, “the Opposition staged a drama".

    Regarding the joint Opposition’s decision to approach the court, he said that when the deputy speaker was chairing the session — which was decried by the Opposition and the court passed the judgment against it — the deputy speaker never denied the constitutional process but "merely highlighted that a new development has come to the fore and a probe should be held in this regard.”

    Qureshi said that the deputy speaker, therefore, adjourned the session for an indefinite period because the issue of the “foreign conspiracy” was under discussion.

    Highlighting the seriousness of the “threat letter” controversy, Qureshi said: “When the National Security Committee (NSC) — one of the highest security forums — saw the cypher, a coded message from the ambassador, they acknowledged that the matter is sensitive.”

    He further added that the NSC issued two directives: "They acknowledge that there was political interference in the internal matters of Pakistan and ordered the foreign office that a demarche must be issued in Islamabad and Washington as well.

    "They also directed to convene a meeting of the national security committee of the parliament to raise this issue in front of selected members of the house."

    The PTI vice-chairman recalled that when the speaker summoned a session of the NSC, the Opposition leaders decided not to attend the meeting.