No-confidence motion against Imran Khan halted, Pakistan to go to the polls

Imran Khan

Karachi, Pakistan | THE INDEPENDENT | Pakistani President Arif Alvi dissolved Sunday the National Assembly at the request of the country’s prime minister, said a statement from the president’s secretariat.

“President of Pakistan Arif Alvi has approved the advice of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to dissolve the National Assembly under Article 58 (1) read with Article 48 (1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” said the statement.

Earlier in the day, in a televised address to the nation on national TV, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told the nation that he had sent advice to the president to dissolve the national assembly or the lower house of the parliament.

Khan said a foreign power hatched a conspiracy to remove his government through a no-confidence motion against him, and the deputy speaker of the lower house rejected the motion because the nation cannot let such kind of conspiracies succeed.

“I want to tell my nation to start preparing for elections and not let any foreign power decide the future of Pakistan,” said Imran Khan, adding that once the national assembly is dissolved, a procedure to appoint a caretaker set-up will start.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Twitter that the president has asked Khan to continue working as the prime minister until the caretaker government is formed.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan rejected  a no-confidence motion filed by an opposition alliance against Pakistani Prime Minister Khan over alleged involvement of foreign hands in the move aimed at ousting the incumbent government.

Deputy speaker of the lower house of parliament Qasim Khan Suri rejected the no-confidence motion, saying that foreign involvement was found in the opposition’s move aiming to oust the incumbent government, which is against the Constitution of Pakistan.

Earlier on March 8, the alliance of opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal submitted a requisition to the office of the Speaker of the National Assembly to summon a house session for voting on the no-confidence motion. On March 28, the opposition alliance presented the no-confidence motion in the house claiming that they had the required votes to make it successful.

The prime minister told a public rally in Islamabad on March 27 that his government had received a diplomatic note from a foreign country, which read that “if Imran Khan is ousted from power, Pakistan’s all mistakes would be forgiven, otherwise, the country would face dire consequences across the world.”

Later, the prime minister chaired a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) which termed the language in the note used by the foreign official as undiplomatic and as a blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan, which is unacceptable under any circumstances.

On Friday, Khan said in an exclusive interview with local Urdu TV channel that his government had sent an official message to the United States embassy in Islamabad to protest the above-mentioned interference in Pakistan’s political affairs.

“We gave a demarche to the American embassy in Islamabad and asked why did they do this interference,” said Khan, referring to the diplomatic note.

According to the prime minister, it is obvious that the conspiracy to oust his government was planned abroad and is being implemented through purchasing the support of Pakistani parliamentarians and forming an opposition alliance.

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