Midnight Parliamentary Revolt in Pakistan: Imran Khan ousted from Premiership

During the history making session (Twitter)

During the history making session (Twitter)

By Nasir Aijaz
The AsiaN Representative

 Islamabad: Imran Khan was ousted from premiership of Pakistan through a ‘Midnight Parliamentary Revolt’ – the no-confidence motion tabled in the National Assembly at the night between Saturday and Sunday.

The assembly session was presided over by Mr. Ayaz Sadiq, a member of the panel of chairs, as the Speaker Asad Qaiser, a loyalist to Imran Khan, tendered his resignation refusing to be part of constitutional move against Khan.

The National Assembly session was summoned on the Supreme Court’s directives issued in a petition against earlier rejection of No Trust Motion by the Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, and dissolution of the assembly through a presidential order.

The (former) Speaker summoned the session at 10.30a.m on Saturday but shortly adjourned after ruckus till 12.30p.m but the session could resume only after 2.30p.m and again using the delaying tactics, Speaker avoided chairing the session.

During the history making session (Twitter)

A very special session (Twitter)

Instead, a member of panel of chair from his party, conducted the proceeding and as had planned, allowed (former) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to address and consume the time. As his address ended, the session was adjourned again to meet at 9.30p.m.

During the entire day, till 11.30pm dramatic and critical political development continued taking place and rumors of probable military takeover hovered around.

All the entrance and exit points of the capital were blocked, emergency was declared in hospitals, leaves of all the police and administrative officers were cancelled, the officials were ordered not to travel without NOC, and heavy security contingents along with prisoner-carrying vans were sent to the parliament house.

During the entire period, former premier Imran Khan didn’t appear in parliament and chose to stay at Prime Minister House, while the Speaker Asad Qaiser was summoned by Khan repeatedly.

During the history making session (Twitter)

The history making session in progress (Twitter)

It became clear that the Imran Khan and his team had no intention to comply the apex court orders nor had they made up their mind to tender resignations and quit ceremoniously.

In the meantime, there were reports that Speaker Qaiser and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri have decided to resign from their offices, to escape the Contempt of Court proceedings.

The Supreme Court, Islamabad High Court and the Election Commission of Pakistan had opened their offices at night to initiate as per the situation.

At, 11.30p.m the Speaker Qaiser, who previously headed a religious outfit, and later had joined the Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, appeared in the house and after brief remarks announced the resignation and invited Ayaz Sadiq, a former Speaker of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif) government, to conduct the session.

Ayaz Sadiq swiftly got the No Trust Motion passed with 174 votes cast in its favor, as the PTI parliamentarians, being in short number, had left the house, and not a single vote cast against the motion. The entire proceedings were completed by 12a.m to comply with court orders.

During the history making session (Twitter)

Consultations during the history making session (Twitter)

Later, after a few minutes, a new session of next day (April 10) was held during which Mian Shahbaz Sharif, leader of the opposition, and brother of former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif was invited to occupy the seat of Leader of the House.

Imran Khan had ousted Nawaz Sharif from premiership and got him disqualified from contesting polls and even taking part in politics through the judiciary in 2017.

Amid the proceedings on No Trust Motion, there were reports that Imran Khan left the Prime Minister House in his helicopter to his luxurious residential estate Bani Gala, without any official protocol. The opposition parties and some lawyers’ groups filed petitions in the apex court to put the names of Imran Khan, his Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other ministers, on Exit Control List, so that they may not flee the country.

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