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Pakistan: Opposition slams Imran Khan, National Assembly Speaker over no-confidence motion adjournment

News Agencies | Updated on: 26 March 2022, 8:19 IST
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (File Image)

Following the adjournment of the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to March 28, the Opposition leaders in the country slammed the Prime Minister and the National Assembly speaker Asad Qaisar for conspiring to keep the motion at bay.

The session was adjourned on Friday morning shortly after tributes were offered to Khayal Zaman, a member of the house from the ruling PTI who had recently passed away.

Citing parliamentary convention, speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser said the first sitting after the death of a Member of the National Assembly (MNA) is limited to prayers for the soul of the departed and tributes fellow lawmakers wish to pay them, The Dawn reported.

"The speaker has become Imran Khan's stooge and I warn him that if he violated the Constitution and rules on Monday, then no one should complain afterwards, as we reserve the right to protect our rights," said opposition leader in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member Shehbaz Sharif, reported the News International.
Sharif was referring to Qaisar's earlier move to not call in the session of the National Assembly within the stipulated 14 days of the requisition request by the Opposition. The Opposition had requisitioned a National Assembly session to take up the no-confidence motion in a letter to the National Assembly speaker on March 8.

He further accused Qaisar of conspiring with Imran Khan Niazi to first not convene the session in stipulated time and then adjourn the session when it was convened.

"The role of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar will be remembered in the history in black words. Offering condolences and prayers are a tradition of the House, but law and Constitution are beyond all traditions," he added.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto took a jibe at Imran Khan, asking "What kind of a captain runs away from a contest?"


"We will use the democratic weapon of no-confidence against this undemocratic person, Imran Khan". He congratulated the people of Pakistan who had 'rejected the selected'.

"Imran Khan's government has ended and soon he will be a former prime minister," he said.

"Speaker provided another weak excuse to avoid tabling a no-confidence motion in National Assembly today. Imran can't run forever. PM has no sportsman spirit and cannot face defeat with grace. The once-great Kaptaan (captain) will go down like a rat on a sinking ship," Bilawal Bhutto said separately in a tweet.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUIF) Parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Maulana Asad Mehmood said the National Assembly speaker, instead of acting as a custodian of the house, was acting like a personal servant of Imran Khan.

Other leaders from smaller parties too severely criticised both the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the house for avoiding the motion and using delaying tactics.

The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark being 172. The PTI led coalition was formed with the support of 179 members, with Imran Khan's PTI having 155 members, and four major allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) having seven, five, five and three members respectively.

Imran Khan's situation is precarious given that three of the four allies, that is, MQM-P, PML-Q and BAP have stated their support to the Opposition's no-confidence motion and said that they will vote accordingly.

Upset with the news of allies joining the opposition camp, Imran Khan, in a last-ditch attempt, recently dispatched a team of senior PTI leaders to meet the allies and assure them that their reservations would be addressed.

Adding to Khan's woes, almost 20 members from his own party had recently sought refuge in the Sindh House in Islamabad, and none of them showed up to the National Assembly on Friday.

The Opposition parties in Pakistan on the other hand hold the support of 162 members of the house, out of whom 159 members were present in the house on Friday. The Opposition members are expected to be joined by the three ruling coalition parties during the vote, helping them cross the majority mark, with 179 members supporting the no-confidence motion.


First published: 26 March 2022, 8:19 IST